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CAESAR'S 
MESSIAH 



TO INVENT JESUS 



JOSEPH ATW1LL 



Table of Contents 



Introduction 



2. Fishers of Men: Men Who Were Caught Like Fish 


38 


3. The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 


45 


4. The Demons of Gadara 


58 


5. Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 


93 


6. The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 


125 


7. The New Root and Branch 


159 


8. Until All is Fulfilled 


174 


9. The Authors of the New Testament 


205 


10. The Typological Method 


219 


1 1 . The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 


226 


12. The Father and the Son of God 


250 


13. Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 


259 


14. Building Jesus 


278 


15. The Apostles and the Maccabees 


302 


16. The Samaritan Woman and Other Parallels 


326 


Conclusion 


333 


Appendix 


338 


A Reader's Guide to the Names and Terms 




in Caesar's Messiah 


338 


A Timeline of Jesus' and Titus' Lives 


346 


Endnotes 


348 


Selected Bibliography 


354 


About the Author 


359 



Introduction 



In the popular mind, and in the minds of most scholars, the origin 
of Christianity is clear: The religion began as a movement of the 
lower-class followers of a radical Jewish teacher during the first cen- 
tury C.E. For a number of reasons, however, I did not share this cer- 
tainty. There were many gods worshiped during Jesus' era that are 
now seen as fictitious, and no archeological evidence of his exis- 
tence has ever been found. What contributed most to my skepticism 
was that at the exact time when the followers of Jesus were pur- 
portedly organizing themselves into a religion that urged its mem- 
bers to "turn the other cheek" and to "give to Caesar what is Cae- 
sar's," another Judean sect was waging a religious war against the 
Romans. This sect, the Sicarii, also believed in the coming of a Mes- 
siah, but not one who advocated peace. They sought a Messiah who 
would lead them militarily. It seemed implausible that two diamet- 
rically opposite forms of messianic Judaism would have emerged 
from Judea at the same time. 

This is why the Dead Sea Scrolls were of such interest to me, 
and I began what turned into a decade-long study of them. Like so 
many others, I was hoping to learn something of Christianity's ori- 
gins in the 2,000-year-old documents found at Qumran. 

I also began studying the other two major works from this era, 
the New Testament and War of the Jews by Flavius Josephus, an 
adopted member of the imperial family; I hoped to determine how 
the Scrolls related to them. While reading these two works side by 
side, I noticed a connection between them. Certain events from the 
ministry of Jesus seem to closely parallel episodes from the military 



2 Caesar's Messiah 

campaign of the Roman emperor Titus Flavius as he attempted to 
gain control of the rebellious Jews in Judea. My efforts to understand 
this relationship led me to uncover the amazing secret that is the 
subject of this book: This imperial family, the Flavians, created 
Christianity, and, even more incredibly, they incorporated a skillful 
satire of the Jews in the Gospels and War of the Jews to inform pos- 
terity of this fact. 

The Flavian dynasty lasted from 69 to 96 C.E., the period when 
most scholars believe the Gospels were written. It consisted of three 
Caesars: Vespasian and his two sons, Titus and Domitian. Flavius 
Josephus, the adopted member of the family who wrote War of the 
Jews, was their official historian. 

The satire they created is difficult to see. If it were otherwise, it 
would not have remained unnoticed for two millennia. However, as 
readers may judge for themselves, the path that the Flavians left for 
us is a clear one. All that is really needed to walk down it is an open 
mind. But why then has the satirical relationship between Jesus and 
Titus not been noticed before? This question is especially apt in light 
of the fact that the works that reveal their satire — the New Testa- 
ment and the histories of Josephus — are perhaps the most scruti- 
nized books in literature. 

The only explanation I can offer is that viewing the Gospels as 
satire — that is, as a literary composition (as opposed to a history) in 
which human folly is held up to ridicule — requires the reader to 
contradict a deeply ingrained belief. Once Jesus was universally 
established as a world-historical individual, any other possibility 
became, evidentially, invisible. The more we believed in Jesus as a 
world-historical figure, the less we were able to understand him in 
any other way. 

To understand why the Flavians decided to create Christianity, 
one needs to understand the political conditions that the family 
faced in Judea in 74 C.E., following their defeat of the Sicarii, a 
movement of messianic Jews. 

The process that ultimately led to the Flavians' control over 
Judea was part of a broader and longer struggle, that between Juda- 
ism and Hellenism. Judaism, which was based upon monotheism 



Introduction 3 

and faith, was simply incompatible with Hellenism, the Greek cul- 
ture that promoted polytheism and rationalism. 

Hellenism spread into Judea after Alexander the Great con- 
quered the area, in 333 B.C.E. Alexander and his successors estab- 
lished cities throughout their empire to act as centers of commerce 
and administration. They set up more than 30 Greek cities within 
Judea itself. The people of Judea, in spite of their historical resist- 
ance to outside influences, began to incorporate certain traits of the 
Greek ruling class into their culture. Many Semites found it desir- 
able, if not necessary, to speak Greek. Wealthy Jews sought a Greek 
education for their young men. Gymnasia introduced Jewish stu- 
dents to Greek myths, sports, music, and arts. 

The Seleucids, descendants of Seleucus, the commander of Alex- 
ander's elite guard, gained control over the region from the Ptolemies, 
the descendants of another of Alexander's generals, in 200 B.C.E. 
When Antiochus IV (or as he preferred, Epiphanes — that is, god 
manifest) became the Seleucid ruler in 169 B.C.E., he began Judea's 
nightmare. 

Antiochus was openly contemptuous of Judaism and wanted to 
modernize Jewish religion and culture. He installed high priests who 
were supportive of his policies. When a rebellion against Helleniza- 
tion broke out, in 168 B.C.E., Antiochus ordered his army to attack 
Jerusalem. Second Maccabees records the number of Jews slain in 
the battle as 40,000, with another 40,000 taken captive and enslaved. 

Antiochus emptied the temple of its treasury, violated the holy 
of holies, and intensified his policy of Hellenization. He ordered the 
observances of the Hebrew cult be replaced with Hellenistic wor- 
ship. He banned circumcision and sacrifice, instituted a monthly 
observance of his birthday, and placed a statue of Zeus on the Tem- 
ple Mount. 

In 167 B.C.E., the Maccabees, a family of religiously zealous 
Jews, led a revolution against Antiochus' imposition of Hellenistic 
customs and religions. They sought to restore to power the religion 
that they believed was mandated by God in his holy land. The Mac- 
cabees compelled the inhabitants of the cities they conquered to 
convert to Judaism. Males either permitted themselves to be circum- 



4 Caesar's Messiah 

cised or were slain. After a 20-year struggle, the Maccabees eventu- 
ally prevailed against the Seleucids. To quote 1 Maccabees, "the yoke 
of the Gentiles was removed from Israel" (13:41). 

Though the Maccabees went on to rule Israel for more than 100 
years, their kingdom was never secure. The Seleucid threat to the 
region was replaced by an even greater one from Rome. Roman 
expansionism and Hellenistic culture constantly threatened to 
engulf the religious state that the Maccabees had established. In 65 
B.C.E., a civil war broke out between two Maccabean rivals for the 
throne. It was at this time that Antipater the Edomite, the wily father 
of Herod, appeared on the scene. Antipater helped bring about a 
Roman intervention in the civil war, and when Pompey sent his 
legate Scaurus into Judea with a Roman army, it marked the begin- 
ning of the end of the Maccabean religious state. 

For the next 30 years (65-37 B.C.E.), Judea suffered through 
one war after another. In 40 B.C.E., the last Maccabean ruler, Mat- 
tathias Antigonus, seized control of the country. By this time, how- 
ever, the Herodian family was firmly established as Rome's surrogate 
in the region and, with Roman support, defeated Mattathias' army 
and gained control of Judea. 

Following the destruction of the Maccabean state, the Sicarii, a 
new movement against Roman and Herodian control, emerged. This 
was a movement of lower-class Jews, originally called Zealots, who 
continued the Maccabees' religious struggle against the control of 
Judea by outsiders and sought to restore "Eretz Israel." 

The efforts of the Sicarii reached a climax in 66 C.E. when they 
succeeded in driving the Roman forces from the country. The 
Emperor Nero ordered Vespasian to enter Judea with a large army 
and end the revolt. The violent struggle that ensued left the country 
devastated and concluded when Rome captured Masada in 73 C.E. 

In the midst of the Judean war, forces loyal to the Flavian fam- 
ily in Rome revolted against the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, 
Vitellius, and seized the capital. Vespasian returned to Rome to be 
proclaimed emperor, leaving his son Titus in Judea to finish off the 
rebels. 

Following the war, the Flavians shared control over this region 
between Egypt and Syria with two families of powerful Hellenized 



Introduction 5 

Jews: the Herods and the Alexanders. These three families shared a 
common financial interest in preventing any future revolts. They 
also shared a long-standing and intricate personal relationship that 
can be traced to the household of Antonia, the mother of the 
Emperor Claudius. Antonia employed Julius Alexander Lysimarchus, 
the abalarch, or ruler, of the Jews of Alexandria, as her financial 
steward in around 45 C.E. 

Julius was the elder brother of the famous Jewish philosopher 
Philo Judeaus, the leading intellectual figure of Hellenistic Judaism. 
Philo's writings attempted to merge Judaism with Platonic philoso- 
phy. Scholars believe that his work provided the authors of the 
Gospels with some of their religious and philosophical perspective. 

Antonia's private secretary, Caenis, was also the long-term mis- 
tress of Vespasian. Julius Alexander Lysimarchus and Vespasian 
would therefore have known one another through their shared con- 
nection with the household of Antonia. 

Julius had two sons. The elder, Marcus, married Herod's niece 
Bernice as a teenager, creating a bond between the Alexanders and 
the Herods, the Roman-sponsored ruling family of Judea. Marcus died 
young and Bernice eventually became the mistress of Vespasian's son 
Titus. Bernice thereby connected the Flavians and the Alexanders, 
the family of her first husband, to her family, the Herods. 

Julius' younger son, Tiberius Alexander, was another important 
link between the families. He inherited his father's entire estate after 
the death of his brother Marcus, making him one of the richest men 
in the world. He renounced Judaism and assisted the Flavians with 
their war against the Jews, contributing both money and troops, as 
did the Herodian family. Tiberius was the first to publicly declare his 
allegiance to Vespasian as emperor and thereby helped begin the Fla- 
vian dynasty. When Vespasian returned to Rome to assume the man- 
tle of emperor, he left Tiberius behind to assist his son Titus with the 
destruction of Jerusalem. 

Though the three families had been able to put down the revolt, 
they still faced a potential threat. Many Jews continued to believe 
that God would send a Messiah, a son of David, who would lead 
them against the enemies of Judea. Flavius Josephus records that 
what had "most elevated" the Sicarii to fight against Rome was their 



6 Caesar's Messiah 

belief that God would send a Messiah to Israel who would lead his 
faithful to military victory. Though the Flavians, Herods, and Alexan- 
ders had ended the Jewish revolt, the families had not destroyed the 
messianic religion of the Jewish rebels. The families needed to find 
a way to prevent the Zealots from inspiring future uprisings through 
their belief in a coming warrior Messiah. 

Then someone from within this circle had an inspiration, one 
that changed history. The way to tame messianic Judaism would be 
to simply transform it into a religion that would cooperate with the 
Roman Empire. To achieve this goal would require a new type of 
messianic literature. Thus, what we know as the Christian Gospels 
were created. 

In a convergence unique in history, the Flavians, Herods, and 
Alexanders brought together the elements necessary for the creation 
and implementation of Christianity. They had the financial motiva- 
tion to replace the militaristic religion of the Sicarii, the expertise in 
Judaism and philosophy necessary to create the Gospels, and the 
knowledge and bureaucracy required to implement a religion (the 
Flavians created and maintained a number of religions other than 
Christianity). Moreover, these families were the absolute rulers over 
the territories where the first Christian congregations began. 

To produce the Gospels required a deep understanding of Judaic 
literature. The Gospels would not simply replace the literature of the 
old religion, but would be written in such a way as to demonstrate 
that Christianity was the fulfillment of the prophecies of Judaism 
and had therefore grown directly from it. To achieve these effects, 
the Flavian intellectuals made use of a technique used throughout 
Judaic literature — typology. In its most basic sense typology is sim- 
ply the use of prior events to provide form and context for subse- 
quent ones. If one sits for a painting, for example, he or she is the 
"type" of the painting, the thing it was based upon. Typology is used 
throughout Judaic literature as a way of transferring information 
and meaning from one story to another. For example, the Book of 
Esther uses type scenes from the story of Joseph in the Book of Gen- 
esis, so that the alert reader will understand that Esther and Morde- 
cai are repeating the role of Joseph as an agent of God. 



Introduction 



JOSEPH 

Rises to high position in the 
Egyptian government through his 
beauty and wisdom 

Josephs good deed (interpreting 
the butler's dream) is forgotten for a 
long time 

A character refuses to listen — 
"she spoke to Joseph every day but 
he refused to listen" (Gen 38:10) 

Pharaoh's chief servant is hanged 

Joseph reveals his identity to 
Pharaoh after a feast 



ESTHER/MORDECAI 
Esther rises to high position in the 
Persian government through her 
beauty and wisdom 

Mordecai's good deed (saving 
the king's life) is forgotten 
for a long time 

Character refuses to listen — 
"they told him every day but 
he refused to listen" (Est. 3:4) 

The king's chief servant is hanged 

Esther reveals her identity to 
the king after a feast 



The authors of the Gospels used typology to create the impres- 
sion that events from the lives of prior Hebrew prophets were types 
of events from Jesus' life. In doing so, they were trying to convince 
their readers that their story of Jesus was a continuation of the divine 
relationship that existed between the Hebrew prophets and God. 

At the very beginning of the Gospels, the authors created a crys- 
tal-clear typological relationship between Jesus and Moses. The 
authors placed this sequence at the beginning of their work to show 
the reader how the real meaning of the New Testament will be 
revealed. 

The sequence begins in Matthew 2:13, where Joseph is described 
as bringing Jesus, who represents the "new Israel," down to Egypt. 
This event parallels Genesis 45-50, where a previous Joseph brought 
the "old Israel" down to Egypt. 

The authors of the Gospels associated their Joseph with the 
prior one by means of more than just a shared name and a journey 
to Egypt. The New Testament Joseph is described, like his counter- 
part in the Hebrew Bible, as a dreamer of dreams and as having 
encounters with a star and wise men. 



8 Caesar's Messiah 

Both stories regarding the journey of a Joseph to Egypt are 
immediately followed by a description of a massacre of innocents. 
The stories concerning the massacre of innocents are not exactly 
parallel. Jesus is not, for example, saved by being put in a boat on 
the river Jordan and then by being adopted by Herod's daughter. The 
typology used within Judaic literature does not require verbatim 
quotations or descriptions; rather, the author takes only enough 
information from the event that is being used as the type to allow 
the reader to recognize that the prior event relates to the one being 
described. In this case, each massacre of the innocents' story depicts 
young children being slaughtered by a fearful tyrant, but the future 
savior of Israel being saved. 

The authors of the New Testament then continue mirroring 
Exodus by having an angel tell Joseph, "They are dead which sought 
the young child's life" (Matt. 2:20). This statement is a clear parallel 
to the statement made to Moses, the first savior of Israel, in Exodus 
12: "All the men are dead which sought thy life." The parallels then 
continue with Jesus receiving a baptism (Matt. 3:13), which mirrors 
the baptism of the Israelites described in Exodus 14. Next, Jesus 
spends 40 days in the desert, which parallels the 40 years the 
Israelites spend in the wilderness. Both sojourns in the desert 
involve three sets of temptations. In Exodus, it is God who is 
tempted; in the Gospels, it is Jesus, the son of God. 

In Exodus, it is the Israelites who tempt God. They first tempt 
him by asking for bread, at which time they learn that "man does not 
live by bread alone" (Ex. 16). The second time is at Massah, where 
they are told to not "tempt the Lord" (Ex. 17). On the third occa- 
sion, when they make the golden calf at Mount Sinai (Ex. 32), they 
learn to "fear the Lord thy God and serve only him." 

Jesus' three temptations are by the devil and are a mirror of 
God's temptations by the Israelites, as his responses show. To his first 
temptation (Matt. 4:4) he replies, "Man shall not live by bread 
alone." To the second (Matt. 4:7) he replies, "Thou shalt not tempt 
the Lord thy God." And to the third (Matt. 4:10) he replies, "Thou 
shalt worship the Lord thy God, and only him shalt thou serve." 

Though the parallels between Jesus and Moses are typological 
and not verbatim, the sequence in which these events occur is. This 



Introduction 9 

is surely no accident but proof that Moses, the first savior of Israel, 
is used as a type for Jesus, the second savior of Israel. 

OLD TESTAMENT MATTHEW 

Gen. 45-50 Joseph takes old Israel 2: 13 Joseph brings new Israel 

down to Egypt down to Egypt 

Ex. 1 Pharaoh massacres boys 2:16 Herod massacres boys 

Ex. 4 "All the men are dead ..." 2:20 "They are dead ..." 

Ex. 12 From Egypt to Israel 2:21 From Egypt to Israel 

Ex. 14 Passing through water (baptism)3: 13 Baptism 

Ex. 16 Tempted by bread 4:4 Tempted by bread 

Ex. 17 Do not tempt God 4:7 Do not tempt God 

Ex. 32 Worship only God 4:10 Worship only God 

The typological sequence in Matthew that establishes Jesus as 
the new savior of Israel is well known to scholars. What has not 
been widely recognized is that the story also reveals the political per- 
spective of the authors of the New Testament. In the Hebrew Bible it 
is the Israelites who tempt God, but notice that the devil takes their 
place in the parallel New Testament story. This equating of the 
Israelites with the devil is consistent with what the Flavians thought 
of the messianic Jews, that they were demons. 

Moreover, the parallel sequences demonstrate that the Gospels 
were designed to be read intertextually, that is, in direct relationship 
to the other books of the Bible. This is the only way that literature 
based on types can be understood. In other words, as the example 
concerning Jesus' infancy illustrates, to understand the Gospels' 
meaning a reader must recognize that the concepts, sequences, and 
locations in Matthew are parallel to the concepts, sequences, and 
locations in Genesis and Exodus, where their context has already 
been established. 

By using scenes from Judaic literature as types for events in 
Jesus' ministry, the authors hoped to convince their readers that the 
Gospels were a continuation of the Hebrew literature that had 
inspired the Sicarii to revolt and that, therefore, Jesus was the Mes- 
siah whom the rebels were hoping God would send them. In this 
way, they would strip messianic Judaism of its power to spawn 
insurrections, since the Messiah was no longer coming but had 



10 Caesar's Messiah 

already come. Further, the Messiah was not the xenophobic military 
leader that the Sicarii were expecting, but rather a multiculturist 
who urged his followers to "turn the other cheek." 

If the Gospels achieved only the replacement of the militaristic 
messianic movement with a pacifistic one, they would have been 
one of the most successful pieces of propaganda in history. But the 
authors wanted even more. They wanted not merely to pacify the 
religious warriors of Judea but to make them worship Caesar as a 
god. And they wanted to inform posterity that they had done so. 

The populations of the Roman provinces were permitted to 
worship in any way they wished, with one exception; they had to 
allow Caesar to be worshiped in their temples. This was incompati- 
ble with monotheistic Judaism. At the end of the 66-73 C.E. war 
Flavius Josephus recorded that no matter how Titus tortured the 
Sicarii, they refused to call him "Lord." To circumvent the Jews' reli- 
gious stubbornness, the Flavians therefore created a religion that 
worshiped Caesar without its followers knowing it. 

To achieve this, they used the same typological method they had 
used to link Jesus to Moses, creating parallel concepts, sequences, 
and locations. They created Jesus' entire ministry as a "type" of the 
military campaign of Titus. In other words, events from Jesus' min- 
istry parallel events from Titus' campaign. To prove that these typo- 
logical scenes were not accidental, the authors placed them in the 
same sequence and in the same locations in the Gospels as they had 
occurred in Titus' campaign. 

The parallel scenes were designed to create another story line 
than the one that appears on the surface. This typological story line 
reveals that the Jesus who interacted with the disciples following the 
crucifixion, the actual Jesus that Christians have unwittingly wor- 
shiped for 2,000 years, was Titus Flavius. 

The discovery of the Flavian invention of Christianity creates a 
new understanding of the entire first century C.E. Such a revelation 
is disorienting, and the reader will find the following points useful 
in understanding the new history that this work presents. 

• Christianity did not originate among the lower classes in Judea. 
It was a creation of a Roman imperial family, the Flavians. 



Introduction 1 1 

• The Gospels were not written by the followers of a Jewish 
Messiah but by the intellectual circle surrounding the three 
Flavian emperors: Vespasian and his two sons, Titus and 
Domitian. 

• The Gospels were written following the 66-73 C.E. war 
between the Romans and the Jews, and many of the events of 
Jesus' ministry are satirical depictions of events from that war. 

• The purpose of Christianity was supersession. It was designed 
to replace the nationalistic and militaristic messianic move- 
ment in Judea with a religion that was pacifistic and would 
accept Roman rule. 

I developed these findings over the past few years, but delayed 
publishing them for a number of reasons. Though I am no longer a 
Christian, I see Christianity, on the whole, as valuable to society. I 
certainly did not wish to publish a work that might cause it sub- 
stantial damage. Further, I was aware that the nature of the discov- 
eries might have some negative effect even on some non-Christians. 
I did not want to contribute to the cynicism of our age. 

At the same time, I knew that this information would be valu- 
able to many. Eventually, my concern about not disclosing these 
findings simply overcame my fear of the possible impact. So, after 
2,000 years of misunderstanding, a new meaning of the Gospels is 
revealed within this work. By turning this page, readers will enter a 
new world. I do not know if it is a better world. I only know that I 
believe it is a truer one. 



CHAPTER 1 



The First Christians and the Flavians 



This book provides a new approach to understanding what the Gos- 
pels are and who composed them. I shall show that intellectuals 
working for Titus Flavius, the second of the three Flavian Caesars, 
created Christianity. Their main purpose was to replace the xeno- 
phobic Jewish messianism that waged war against the Roman Empire 
with a version of Judaism that would be obedient to Rome. 

One of the individuals involved with the creation of the Gospels 
was the first-century historian Flavius Josephus, who, as he relates 
it, led a fabulous life. He was born in 37 C.E. into the royal family 
of Judea, the Maccabees. Like Jesus, Josephus was a child prodigy 
who astounded his elders with his knowledge of Judaic law. Jose- 
phus also claimed to have been a member of each of the Jewish sects 
of his era, the Sadduccees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. 

When the Jewish rebellion against Rome broke out, in 66 C.E., 
though he had no described military background and believed the 
cause hopeless, Josephus was given command of the revolutionary 
army of Galilee. Taken captive, he was brought before the Roman 
general Vespasian, to whom he presented himself as a prophet. At 
this point, God, rather conveniently, spoke to Josephus and informed 
him that his favor had switched from the Jews to the Romans. Jose- 
phus then claimed that Judaism's messianic prophecies foresaw not 
a Jewish Messiah, but Vespasian, whom Josephus predicted would 
become the "lord of all mankind." 

After this came to pass, so to speak, and Vespasian was pro- 
claimed emperor, he rewarded Josephus' clairvoyance by adopting 
him. Thus, the Jewish rebel Josephus bar Mattathias became Flavius 



12 



The First Christians and the Flavians 13 

Josephus, the son of Caesar. He became an ardent supporter of 
Rome's conquest of Judea, and when Vespasian returned to Rome to 
be crowned emperor, Josephus stayed behind to assist the new 
emperor's son Titus with the siege of Jerusalem. 

Once the city had been destroyed, Josephus took up residence 
within the Flavian court at Rome, where he enjoyed the patronage 
of Vespasian and the subsequent Flavian emperors, Titus and 
Domitian. It was while he was living in Rome that Josephus wrote 
his two major works, War of the Jews, a description of the 66-73 C.E. 
war between the Romans and the Jews, and Jewish Antiquities, a his- 
tory of the Jewish people. 

Josephus' histories are of great significance to Christianity. Vir- 
tually all that we know regarding the social context of the New Tes- 
tament is derived from them. Without these works, the very dating 
of the events of the New Testament would be impossible. 

Josephus' histories provided Jesus with historical documenta- 
tion, a fact that is widely known. They also provided Jesus with 
another kind of documentation, a fact largely forgotten. Early Chris- 
tians believed that the events Josephus described in War of the Jews 
proved that Jesus had been able to see into the future. It is difficult 
to find even one early Christian who taught another position. 
Church scholars such as Tertullian, Justin Martyr, and Cyprian were 
unanimous in proclaiming that Josephus' description of the con- 
quest of Judea by Titus Flavius in War of the Jews proved that Jesus' 
prophecies had come to pass. As Eusebius wrote in 325 C.E.: 

If any one compares the words of our Saviour with the other 
accounts of the historian [Josephus] concerning the whole 
war, how can one fail to wonder, and to admit that the fore- 
knowledge and the prophecy of our Saviour were truly 
divine and marvelously Strange. 2 

One example of the foreknowledge that so impressed Eusebius 
was Jesus' prediction that the foes of Jerusalem would encircle it with 
a wall, demolish the city and its temple, and level its inhabitants. 

And when He was now getting near Jerusalem . . . 

He came into full view of the city, He wept aloud over it, 
and exclaimed, 



14 Caesar's Messiah 

For the time is coming upon thee when thy foes will 
throw up around thee earthworks and a wall, investing thee 
and hemming thee in on every side, and level you and your 
children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon 
another in you; because you did not know the time of your 
visitation. 

Luke 19:37-43 

Josephus recorded in War of the Jews that all the precise details 
Jesus foresaw for Jerusalem did indeed come to pass. Titus ordered 
his soldiers to "build a wall round about the whole city." 3 Titus, like 
Jesus, saw the encircling of the city as an event sanctioned by God, 
who inspired his soldiers with a "divine fury." 

Josephus also recorded that Titus did not merely burn Jerusalem 
and defile its temple, but ordered that they should be left exactly as 
Jesus has foreseen, with "not one stone upon another." 

[Titus] gave orders that they should now demolish the 
entire city and Temple . . . 4 

Jesus stated that these calamities would befall Jerusalem's inhab- 
itants because they did not know the "time of your visitation." The 
coming visitation was to be made by someone he called the "Son of 
Man," a title used by the prophet Daniel for the Jewish Messiah. 3 
While it has been universally believed that Jesus was referring to 
himself when he used the expression the "Son of Man," he usually 
spoke of this individual in the third person and not as himself. 

Jesus repeatedly warned the Jews that during the Visitation of the 
Son of Man various disasters, like those he foresaw above, would occur. 

Be on the alert therefore, for you do not know the day on 
which your Lord is coming. 

Therefore you also must be ready; for it is at a time 
when you do not expect Him that the Son of Man will come. 

Matt. 24:42-4 

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour 
in which the Son of Man is coming. 

Matt. 25:13 



The First Christians and the Flavians 15 

Though Jesus did not say exactly when the visitation of the Son 
of Man would occur, he did state that he would come before the gen- 
eration alive during his ministry passed away. 

So you also, when you see all these signs, may be sure that 
He is near — at your very door. 

I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation 
will certainly not pass away without all these things having 
first taken place. 

Matt. 24:33-34 

Jews of this era saw a generation as lasting 40 years, so Titus' 
destruction of Jerusalem in 70 C.E. fit perfectly into the time frame 
Jesus gave in his prophecy. However, while Jesus did accurately pre- 
dict events from the coming war, there was a flaw in his foreknowl- 
edge — that is, that the person whose visitation actually brought 
about the destruction of Jerusalem was not Jesus but Titus Flavius. 
If his prophecy did envision (as Eusebius and other church scholars 
have maintained), events from the coming war between the Romans 
and the Jews, then the "Son of Man" Jesus warned of seems not to 
have been himself but Titus, a point that I shall return to. 

There was little written between the fifth and the 15 th centuries 
commenting on the numerous parallels between the events Josephus 
recorded in War of the Jews and Jesus' predictions. This is not sur- 
prising, as the church is known to have actively discouraged scrip- 
tural analysis during this time. What evidence was left, however, 
suggests that during the entire Middle Ages Christians viewed Jose- 
phus' depiction of the war between the Romans and the Jews as proof 
of Christ's divinity. Icons, carvings on caskets, and religious paint- 
ings from this era all portrayed the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem 
as the fulfillment of Jesus' doomsday prophecy. 

The importance of Josephus' works to Christians during this 
period can also be gauged by the fact that some of the Eastern Chris- 
tian churches of Syria and Armenia actually included his books as 
part of their handwritten Bible. In Europe as well, following the 
invention of the printing press, Latin editions of the Bible included 
Antiquities and War of the Jews. 



16 Caesar's Messiah 

Following the Reformation, scholars were able to record their 
opinions, and their writings show that they continued to view the 
relationship between the New Testament and War of the Jews as proof 
of Christ's divinity. On the significance of 70 C.E., for example, Dr. 
Thomas Newton wrote in his 1754 work, Dissertations on the Prophecies: 

As a general in the wars [Josephus] must have had an exact 
knowledge of all transactions ... His history was approved 
by Vespasian and Titus [who ordered it to be published]. He 
designed nothing less, and yet as if he had designed noth- 
ing more, his history of the Jewish wars may serve as a 
larger comment on our Saviour's prophecies of the 
destruction of Jerusalem. 

Newton's position was the same as Eusebius'. Both scholars 
believed that Josephus "designed nothing less" than to honestly record 
the war between the Romans and the Jews. The events that Josephus 
recorded seemed to be the fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy and did not 
strike them as in any way suspicious. On the contrary, they saw the 
relationship between the two works as proof of Jesus' divinity. They 
were in no way unusual in holding this view; it was held by the 
majority of Christian scholars until the end of the 19th century. 

The belief that Josephus' depiction of the destruction of 
Jerusalem proved that Jesus had seen into the future was largely for- 
gotten during the 20th century. Only one denomination of Chris- 
tians, the Preterists, still cites the parallels between War of the Jews 
and the New Testament as a proof of Jesus' divinity. Currently, most 
Christians either believe that the apocalypse Jesus envisioned has 
not yet occurred or they ignore these prophesies altogether. As Chris- 
tianity's third millennium begins, few of its members are even aware 
of the parallels that were once of such importance to the religion. 

However, I believe that Eusebius was correct in stating that 
when one compares War of the Jews to the New Testament, one must 
admit to a relationship that, if not divine, is at the least strange. The 
parallels between Jesus' prophecies and Titus' campaign do indeed 
seem too precise to have been the result of chance. If one accepts the 
traditional understanding, that the New Testament and War of the 
Jews were written at different times by different authors, then the 



The First Christians and the Flavians 17 

only explanation for the parallels would seem to be the one given by 
Eusebius, that they were caused by something truly divine. Of course, 
before accepting any phenomenon as miraculous, one should first 
determine if a nonsupernatural explanation for it exists. The pur- 
pose of this work is to present such an explanation. 

All scholars have faced the same difficulty in trying to under- 
stand first-century Judea: a lack of source material. Before the Dead 
Sea Scrolls were discovered, the important literature describing first- 
hand the events of first-century Judea were the New Testament and 
the works of Josephus. For two millennia, only these two works illu- 
minated an era so seminal to Western civilization. 

This absence is unusual. In Greece, thousands of pieces of writing 
from the same era have been discovered. Jesus constantly complained 
about scribes, who, one must assume, were writing something. 

Jesus began to explain to His disciples that He must go to 
Jerusalem, and suffer much cruelty from the Elders and 
the High Priests and the Scribes. 

Matt. 16:21.30 

Rome's occupation of Judea spanned the entire first century. 
Josephus records that during this period a movement of Jewish 
Zealots called the Sicarii continually staged insurrections against the 
Empire and its surrogate, the family of Herod. The Sicarii, like the 
Christians, were messianic and looked forward to the arrival of the 
son of God, who would lead them against Rome. Josephus dates the 
origin of this messianic movement to the census of Quirinus, curi- 
ously also given in the Gospels as the date of the birth of Christ. This 
movement existed for over 100 years, but until the Dead Sea Scrolls 
were discovered, no document that could possibly have been part of 
its literature had ever been found. 

The literature of the Sicarii movement is most likely missing 
because the Romans destroyed it. A number of the Dead Sea Scrolls 
(found hidden in caves) describe an uncompromising sect that 
awaited a Messiah who would be a military leader. Messianic literature 
of this sort was surely a catalyst for the Sicarii's rebellion and would 
have been targeted for destruction by the Romans, who are known 
to have destroyed Judaic literature. The Talmud, for example, records 



18 Caesar's Messiah 

the Roman practice of wrapping Jews in their religious scrolls and 
lighting them afire. Josephus notes that following their war with the 
Jews, the Romans took the Torah scrolls and other religious litera- 
ture and locked them up inside the Flavian palace in Rome. 

The only works to have survived this century of religious war- 
fare, the Gospels and the histories of Josephus, had a pro-Roman 
perspective. In the case of Josephus' histories this is hardly surpris- 
ing, as he was an adopted member of the imperial family. It is 
notable, however, that the New Testament also has a point of view 
positive to the Romans. The first century was not a time when one 
would expect that a Judaic cult with a viewpoint favorable to the 
Empire would have emerged. Yet the New Testament texts never 
portray Roman soldiers in a negative light, and actually describe 
them as "devout" and God-fearing. 

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a 
centurion of the band called the Italian band, a devout man, 
and one that feared God with his entire house, which gave 
much alms to the people, and prayed to God always. 

Acts 10:1-2 

The New Testament also presents tax collectors, who would 
have been working for the Romans, in a favorable light. The Apos- 
tle Matthew, for example, is actually described as a publican, or tax 
collector. 

The citizenship espoused in the works of Josephus and the New 
Testament would have been seen favorably by Rome. Each work pro- 
claims the holiness of subservience. And each takes the position that 
as it is God who has given the Romans their power, it is therefore 
against God's will to resist them. For example, the Apostle Paul teaches 
that Roman judges and magistrates were a threat only to evil-doers. 

Therefore the man who rebels against his ruler is resisting 
God's will; and those who thus resist will bring punishment 
upon themselves. 

For judges and magistrates are to be feared not by 
right-doers but by wrong-doers. You desire — do you not? — 
to have no reason to fear your ruler. Well, do the thing that 
is right, and then he will commend you. 



The First Christians and the Flavians 19 

For he is God's servant for your benefit. But if you do 
what is wrong, be afraid. He does not wear the sword to no 
purpose: he is God's servant — an administrator to inflict 
punishment upon evil-doers. 

We must obey therefore, not only in order to escape 
punishment, but also for conscience's sake. 

Why, this is really the reason you pay taxes; for tax- 
gatherers are ministers of God, devoting their energies to 
this very work. 

Rom. 13:2-6 

Josephus shared Paul's belief that the Romans were God's ser- 
vants and only inflicted punishment upon evil-doers. 

Indeed what can it be that hath stirred up an army of the 
Romans against our nation? Is it not the impiety of the 
inhabitants? Whence did our servitude commence? Was it 
not derived from the seditions that were among our forefa- 
thers, when the madness of Aristobulus and Hyrcanus, and 
our mutual quarrels, brought Pompey upon this city, and 
when God reduced those under subjection to the Romans 
who were unworthy of the liberty they had enjoyed? 6 

Thus, the only works that describe first-century Judea share a pos- 
itive viewpoint toward Rome. Why is it that only they have survived? 

I believe that the New Testament and the works of Josephus sur- 
vived because they were both created and promulgated by Rome. 
This work presents evidence indicating that the Gospels were cre- 
ated by Titus Flavius, the second of the three Flavian emperors. 
Titus created the religion for two reasons, the most obvious being to 
act as a theological barrier against the spread of the militant mes- 
sianic Judaism of Judea to other provinces. 

Josephus mentions this threat in War of the Jews: 

... the Jews hoped that all of their nation, which were 
beyond Euphrates, would have raised an insurrection with 
them. 7 

Titus had another, more personal, reason for creating the Gos- 
pels — this being that the Jewish Zealots refused to worship him as a 



20 Caesar's Messiah 

god. Though he was able to crush their rebellion, Titus could not 
force the Zealots, even through torture or death, to call him Lord. 

Josephus noted the staunchness with which the Zealots adhered 
to their monotheistic faith, stating that the Sicarii "do not value 
dying and any kind of death, nor indeed do they heed the dying of 
their relations, nor can any fear make them call any man Lord." 8 

As I noted in the Introduction, to circumvent the Jews' stub- 
bornness, Titus designed a hidden message within the Gospels. This 
message reveals that the "Jesus" who interacted with the disciples 
following the crucifixion was not a Jewish Messiah but himself. 
Unable to torture the Jews into forgoing their religion and worship- 
ing him, Titus and his intellectuals created a version of Judaism that 
worshiped Titus without its followers knowing it. When his clever 
literary device was finally discovered, Titus would be able to show 
posterity that he had not failed in his efforts to make the Jews call 
him "Lord." Though always seen as a religious document, the New 
Testament is actually a monument to the vanity of a Caesar — one 
that has finally been discovered. 

Titus backdated Jesus' ministry to 30 C.E., thereby enabling him 
to foresee events in the future. In other words, Jesus was able to 
accurately prophecy events from the coming war with the Romans 
because they had already occurred. As part of this scheme, the ficti- 
tious histories of Josephus were created so as to document the fact 
that Jesus had lived and that his prophecies had come to pass. 

While the above claims will, and should, trigger skepticism, one 
needs to remember that as Christianity describes its origins, it was 
not only supernatural but also historically illogical. Christianity, a 
movement that encouraged pacifism and obedience to Rome, claims 
to have emerged from a nation engaged in a century-long struggle 
with Rome. An analogy to Christianity's purported origins might be 
a cult established by Polish Jews during World War II that set up its 
headquarters in Berlin and encouraged its members to pay taxes to 
the Third Reich. 

When one looks at the form of early Christianity, one sees not 
Judea, but Rome. The church's structures of authority, its sacra- 
ments, its college of bishops, the title of the head of the religion — 
the supreme pontiff — were all based on Roman, not Judaic, tradi- 



The First Christians and the Flavians 21 

tions. Somehow, Judea left little trace on the form of a religion that 
purportedly originated inside of it. 

Early Christianity was also Roman in its worldview. That is, like 
the Roman Empire, the movement saw itself as ordained by God to 
spread throughout the world. Before Christianity, no religion is 
known to have seen itself quite so destined to conquer, to become 
the religion of all mankind. The type of Judaism described in the 
Dead Sea Scrolls, for example, was very selective as to who was 
allowed to join its community, as the following passage from the 
Damascus Document shows: 

No madman, or lunatic, or simpleton, or fool, or blind man, 
or maimed, or lame, or deaf man, and no minor shall enter 
into the community for the Angels of Holiness are with 
them . . . 9 

This exclusionary approach was the mirror opposite of Chris- 
tianity. 

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those 
that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, 
and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them. 10 

To try to understand how Christianity established itself within 
the Roman Empire is to sift through mysteries piled atop the 
unknown. For example, how did a religion that began as verbal tra- 
ditions in Hebrew or Aramaic change into one whose surviving 
scripture is written almost entirely in Greek? According to Albert 
Schweitzer, 

The great and still undischarged task which confronts 
those engaged in the historical study of primitive Christian- 
ity is to explain how the teaching of Jesus developed into 
the early Greek theology. 

The most historically illogical aspect of Christianity's origin, 
however, was its Messiah. Jesus had a political perspective that was 
precisely the opposite of the son of David, who was awaited by the 
Jews of this era. Josephus records that what most inspired the Jew- 
ish rebels was their belief in the Judaic prophesies that foresaw a 



22 Caesar's Messiah 

world ruler, or Messiah, emerging from Judea — the same prophecies 
that the New Testament claims predicted a pacifist. 

But now, what did the most to elevate them in undertaking 
this war was an ambiguous oracle that was also found in 
their sacred writings, how, "about that time, one from their 
country should become governor of the habitable earth." 
The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves in 
particular ..." 

The Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed that Jews of this era indeed 
"took this prediction to belong to themselves" and awaited a Mes- 
siah who would be the son of God. 

Son of God he will be called and Son of the Most High they will 
name him ... His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom 
... he will judge the earth in truth . . . The Great God . . . 
will give people into his hand and all of them will be cast 
down before him. His sovereignty is everlasting sovereignty. 12 

In the following passage from the Damascus Document, notice 
that the Messiah envisioned by the author was, like Jesus, a shep- 
herd, though not one who would bring peace. 

"Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered; 
but I will turn my hand upon the little ones" (Zechariah 
13:7]. 

Now those who hear him are the flock's afflicted, 

these will escape in the period of [God's] visitation. But 
those who remain will be offered up to the sword, 

when the Messiah of Aaron and Israel comes, as it was 
in the period of the first visitation, as he reported by the 
hand of Ezekiel: 

"A mark shall be put on the forehead of those who sigh 
and groan" (Ezek 9:4). 

But those who remained were given up to the sword of 
vengeance, the avenger of the Covenant. 13 

The following passage from the Targum (Aramaic versions of the 
Old Testament) also describes a warrior Messiah. Clearly, this would 



The First Christians and the Flavians 23 

have been the nature of the "king Messiah" of the Jews who would, 
in Josephus' words, "most elevate them in undertaking this war." 

How lovely is the king Messiah, who is to rise from the 
house of Judah. 

He girds his loins and goes out to wage war on those 
who hate him, 

killing kings and rulers . . . 

and reddening the mountains with the blood of their 
slain. 

With his garments dipped in blood, 

he is like one who treads grapes in the wine press. 14 

However, the New Testament and the histories of Josephus each 
imply that the Messiah was not this nationalist leader who had been 
foreseen, but rather a pacifist who encouraged cooperation with 
Rome. For example, consider Jesus' instruction in Matthew 5:41: 
"when anyone conscripts you for one mile, go along two." 

Roman military law permitted its soldiers to conscript, which is 
to demand that civilians carry their 65-pound packs for a length of 
one mile. Roman roads had mile markers (milestones), so that there 
would be no dispute over whether or not this requirement had been 
met. Why would the Messiah foreseen by Judaism's xenophobic world- 
ruler prophecies urge Jews to "go the extra mile" for the Roman army? 

When one compares the militaristic Messiah described in the 
Dead Sea Scrolls and other early Judaic literature with the pacifistic 
Messiah described in the New Testament and Josephus' Testimonium, 
one aspect of the lost history of Judea seems visible. An intellectual 
battle was waged over the nature of the Messiah. The New Testa- 
ment and Josephus stood together on one side of this struggle, 
claiming that a pacifistic Messiah had appeared who advocated 
cooperation with Rome. On the other side of this theological divide 
stood the Jewish Zealots who awaited a militaristic Messiah to lead 
them against Rome. 

Among Christianity's oldest surviving records is the Epistle of 
Clement to the Corinthians, dated to 96 C.E. The letter was pur- 
portedly written by (Pope) Clement I to a congregation of Christians 
who had apparently rebelled against the church's authority. It shows 



24 Caesar's Messiah 

that even at the onset of the religion the bishop of Rome was able to 
give orders to the church of Corinth, and that the church of Rome 
used the Roman army as an example of the kind of discipline and 
obedience that it expected from other churches and their members. 

The Church of God which sojourneth in Rome to the Church 
of God which sojourneth in Corinth, 15 Let us mark the sol- 
diers that are enlisted under our rulers, how exactly, how 
readily, how submissively, they execute the orders given 
them. All are not prefects, nor rulers of thousands, nor 
rulers of hundreds, nor rulers of fifties, and so forth; but 
each man in his own rank executeth the orders given by the 
king and the governors. 

But how did the church's authority structure come into exis- 
tence resembling the Roman military? Who established it and who 
gave the bishops such absolute control? Cyprian wrote . . . "The 
bishop is in the Church and the Church is in the bishop . . . and if 
anyone is not with the bishop, that person is not in the Church." 
And why was Rome, supposedly the center of Christian persecution, 
chosen as the church's headquarters? 

A Roman origin would explain why the bishop of Rome was 
later made the supreme pontiff of the church. And why Rome be- 
came its headquarters. It would explain how a Judean cult eventu- 
ally became the state religion of the Roman Empire. A Roman origin 
would also explain why so many members of a Roman imperial fam- 
ily, the Flavians, were recorded as being among the first Christians. 
The Flavians would have been among the first Christians because, 
having invented the religion, they were, in fact, the first Christians. 

When considering a Flavian invention of Christianity, one 
should bear in mind that the Flavian emperors were considered to 
be divine and often created religions. The oath that they swore when 
being ordained emperor began with the instruction that they would 
do "all things divine ... in the interests of the empire." The Arch of 
Titus, which commemorates Titus' destruction of Jerusalem, is 
inscribed with the following statement: 



The First Christians and the Flavians 25 

SENATUS POPULUSQUE ROMANUS DIVO TITO DIVI VES- 
PASIANI. F VESPASIANO AUGUST 

[The Senate and People of Rome, to the divine Titus, son of 
the divine Vespasian] 

Fragments of the written pronouncement, given in 69 C.E. by 
the prefect of Egypt, Tiberius Alexander, in which he recognized 
Vespasian as the new emperor, are still in existence. Vespasian is 
referred to in them as "the divine Caesar" and "lord." 

Josephus also believed that Vespasian was a divine person. He 
claimed that Judaism's messianic prophecies foretold that Vespasian 
would become the lord of all mankind. This indicates that in the 
eyes of Josephus, Vespasian was not only the "Jesus," or savior of 
Judea, but that he was also the "Christ," the Greek word for the Mes- 
siah that was foreseen in the prophecies of a Judaic world-leader. 

Thou, O Vespasian, thinkest no more than that thou hast 
taken Josephus himself captive; but I come to thee as a 
messenger of greater tidings; for had not I been sent by 
God to thee ... Thou, O Vespasian, art Caesar and emperor, 
thou, and this thy son. Bind me now still faster, and keep 
me for thyself, for thou, O Caesar, are not only lord over me, 
but over the land and the sea, and all mankind. 17 

Josephus, in proclaiming himself God's minister, also described 
an ending of God's "contract" with Judaism that was quite similar to 
the position that the New Testament takes concerning Christian- 
ity — the only difference being that Josephus believed that God's 
good fortune had gone over not to Christianity but to Rome and its 
imperial family, the Flavians. 

Since it pleaseth thee, who hast created the Jewish nation, 
to depress the same, and since all their good fortune is 
gone over to the Romans, and since thou hast made choice 
of this soul of mine to foretell what is to come to pass here- 
after, I willingly give them my hands, and am content to live. 
And I protest openly that I do not go over to the Romans as 
a deserter of the Jews, but as a minister from thee. 18 



26 Caesar's Messiah 

Scholars have dismissed Josephus' application of Judaism's mes- 
sianic prophecies to Caesar as simple flattery. I disagree, and shall 
show that not only did Josephus "believe" Vespasian to be "god," 
and Titus therefore the "son of god," but that his histories were 
entirely constructed to demonstrate that very fact. 

There was nothing unusual in Josephus' recognition of Ves- 
pasian as a god. The Flavians merely continued the tradition of 
establishing emperors as gods that the Julio-Claudian line of Roman 
emperors had begun. Julius Caesar, the first diuus (divine) of that 
line, claimed to have been descended from Venus. The Roman Sen- 
ate is said to have decreed that he was a god because a comet 
appeared shortly after his death, thus demonstrating his divinity. 

In 80 C.E., Titus established an imperial cult for his father, who 
had passed away during the previous year. The cult was politically 
important to Titus because Vespasian's deification would break the 
Julio-Claudian line of divine succession and thereby secure the 
throne for the Flavians. 

Because only the Roman Senate could bestow the title of diuus, 
Titus first needed to convince them that Vespasian had been a god. 
There was evidently some difficulty in arranging this, however; Ves- 
pasian's consecratio did not occur until six months after his death, an 
unusually long interval. 19 Titus also created a priesthood, the flamines, 
to administer the cult. The cult of Vespasian was not isolated to 
Rome, and appointments were made throughout the provinces. In 
the areas surrounding Judea, a Roman bureaucracy called the Com- 
mune Asiae oversaw the cult. Notably all seven of the Christian 
"churches of Asia" mentioned in Revelation 1:11 had agencies of the 
Commune located within them. 

Upon her death, Titus also secured the deification of his sister, 
Domitilla. In going through the process of deifying his father and 
sister and establishing their cults, Titus received an education in a skill 
few humans have ever possessed. He learned how to create a religion. 

Titus not only created and administered religions, he was a 
prophet. While emperor, he received the title of Pontifex Maximus, 
which made him the high priest of the Roman religion and the offi- 
cial head of the Roman college of priests — the same title and office 
that, once Christianity had become the Roman state religion, its 



The First Christians and the Flavians 27 

popes would assume. As Pontifex Maximus, Titus was responsible 
for a large collection of prophecies (annales maximi) every year, and 
officially recorded celestial and other signs, as well as the events that 
had followed these omens, so that future generations would be able 
to better understand the divine will. 

Titus was unusually literate. He claimed to take shorthand faster 
than any secretary and to be able to "forge any man's signature" and 
stated that under different circumstances he could have become "the 
greatest forger in history." 20 Suetonius records that Titus possessed 
"conspicuous mental gifts," and "made speeches and wrote verses in 
Latin and Greek" and that his "memory was extraordinary." 21 

Titus' brother Domitian, who succeeded him as emperor, also 
used religion to his advantage. In addition to deifying his brother, 
Domitian attempted to link himself to Jupiter, the supreme god of 
the Roman Empire, by having the Senate decree that the god had 
mandated his rule. 

Not only did the Flavians create religions, they performed mir- 
acles. In the following passage from Tacitus, Vespasian is recorded as 
curing one man's blindness and another's withered limb, miracles 
also performed by Jesus: 

One of the common people of Alexandria, well known for his 
blindness . . . begged Vespasian that he would deign to 
moisten his cheeks and eyeballs with his spittle. Another 
with a diseased hand prayed that the limb might feet the 
print of a Caesar's foot. And so Vespasian . . . accomplished 
what was required. The hand was instantly restored to its 
use, and the light of day again shone upon the blind. 22 

The Gospels record that Jesus also used this method of curing 
blindness, that is by placing spittle on a blind man's eyelids. 

After thus speaking, He spat on the ground, and then, 
kneading the dust and spittle into clay, He smeared the clay 
over the man's eyes and said to him, 

"Go and wash in the pool of Siloam" — the name means 
"sent." So he went and washed his eyes, and returned able 
to see. 

John 9:6-7 



28 Caesar's Messiah 

Other stories were circulated about Vespasian that suggested his 
divinity. One involved a stray dog dropping a human hand at Ves- 
pasian's feet. The hand was a symbol of power to first-century Romans. 
Another tale described an ox coming into Vespasian's dining room 
and literally falling at the emperor's feet and lowering his neck, as if 
recognizing to whom its sacrifice was due. 

Circulating tales that suggested they were gods was no doubt 
thought by the Flavians to be a good tonic for hoi polloi. The more 
an emperor was seen by his subjects to be divine, the easier it was 
for him to maintain his control over them. The Flavians certainly 
focused on manipulating the masses. To promote the policy of 
"bread and circuses" they built the Coliseum, where they staged 
shows with gladiators and wild beasts that involved mass slaughter. 

Imperial cults that portrayed Roman emperors as gods and 
workers of miracles appear to have been created solely because they 
were politically useful. The cults seem to have evoked no religious 
emotion. No evidence of any spontaneous offerings attesting to the 
sincerity of the worshipers has ever been discovered. 

The advantage of converting one's family into a succession of 
gods appealed to many Roman emperors: 36 of the 60 emperors 
from Augustus to Constantine and 27 members of their families 
were apotheosized and received the title diuus. 

Of course, inventors of fictitious religions must have a certain 
cynicism in regard to the sacred. Vespasian is quoted on his death- 
bed as saying, "Oh my, 1 must be turning into a god!" 23 

Pliny commented on the cynicism that the Flavians felt toward 
the religions they had created. Notice in the following quote Pliny's 
understanding that Titus had made himself a "son of a god." 

Titus deified Vespasian and Domitian Titus, but only so that 
one would be the son of a god and the other a brother of a 
god. 24 

The cynicism that the patrician class felt toward religion was a 
subject of the satires of the Roman poet Juvenal. While the exact 
dates of Juvenal's birth and death are unknown, it is believed that he 
lived during the era of the Flavians. One of his satires concerns 
Agrippa and Bernice, the mistress of Titus. 25 Tradition has it that 
Juvenal was banished from Rome by Domitian. 



The First Christians and the Flavians 29 

Sophisticated Romans like those Juvenal wrote about did not 
believe in the gods but rather in fortune and fate. The prevailing 
ethos of the patrician class was that the world was either ruled by 
blind chance or immutable destiny: 

Fortune has no divinity, could we but see it: it's we, we our- 
selves, who make her a goddess, and set her in the 
heavens. 26 

Judging from the works of Juvenal, many Romans saw all reli- 
gious belief, including their own, as ridiculous. 

Just hark at those loud denials, observe the assurance of 
the lying face 

He'll swear by the Sun's rays, by Jupiter's thunder- 
bolts, 

by the lance of Mars, by the arrows of Delphic Apollo, 
by the quiver and shafts of Diana, the virgin huntress, 
by the trident of Neptune, Our Father of the Aegean: 
he'll throw in Hercules' bows and the spear of Minerva, 
the armories of Olympus down til their very last item: 
and if he's a father, he'll cry; "May I eat my own son's 
noodle — poor child! — well boiled and soused in a vinaigrette 
dressing! 27 

Juvenal was also cynical toward Judaism. His attitude regarding 
the religion suggests that many within the patrician class saw the 
religion and, no doubt, its offspring Christianity, as barbaric cults. 

... A palsied Jewess, parking her haybox outside, comes 
begging in a breathy whisper. She interprets Jerusalem's 
laws; she's the tree's high priestess . . . She likewise fills 
her palm but more sparingly: Jews will sell you whatever 
dreams you like for a few coppers. 28 

Given this patrician cynicism, it is odd that so many members 
of the Flavian family were recorded as having been among Chris- 
tianity's first members. Why was a Judaic cult that advocated meek- 
ness and poverty so attractive to a family that practiced neither? The 
tradition connecting early Christianity and the Flavian family is 
based on solid evidence but has received little comment from scholars. 



30 Caesar's Messiah 

The best known of the "Christian Flavians" was (Pope) 
Clement I. He is described in The Catholic Encyclopedia as the first 
pope about whom "anything definite is known," 29 and was 
recorded in early church literature as being a member of the Flavian 
family. 

Pope Clement was the first pope who had individuals known to 
history refer to him and who left behind written works. He purport- 
edly wrote the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, quoted previ- 
ously. Thus, Clement is of great significance to the church's history. 
In fact, while The Catholic Encyclopedia currently lists Clement as 
the fourth "bishop of Rome," or pope, this was not the assertion of 
many early church scholars. St. Jerome wrote that in his time "most 
of the Latins' held that Clement had been the direct successor of 
Peter. Tertullian also knew of this tradition; he wrote, "The church 
of Rome records that Clement was ordained by Peter." 31 Origen, 
Eusebius, and Epiphanius also placed Clement at the very beginning 
of the Roman church, each of them stating that Clement had been 
the "fellow laborer" of the Apostle Paul. 

Scholars have seen that the list of popes given by Irenaeus (circa 
125-202) that names Clement as the fourth pope is suspect and it is 
notable that the Roman Church chose to use it as its official history. 
This list names "Linus" as the second pope, followed by "Anakletus" 
and then Clement. The list comes from Irenaeus, who identifies 
"Linus the Pope" as the Linus mentioned in 2 Timothy 4:21. Schol- 
ars have speculated that Irenaeus chose Linus simply because he was 
the last male that Paul mentioned in the epistle, which supposedly 
was written immediately before Paul's martyrdom. The provenance 
of Pope Anakletus may be no better. In Titus, the epistle that imme- 
diately follows Timothy in the canon, it is stated, "the bishop shall 
be irreproachable." In Greek, "irreproachable" is anenkletus. 32 

Irenaeus may not have known who the popes between Peter and 
Clement were and therefore had to invent names for them. If this 
was the case, then after creating "Linus" as Peter's successor, "Irre- 
proachable" as the next bishop of Rome, his imagination may have 
become strained, because the name he chose for the sixth pope in 
his list was "Sixus." 



The First Christians and the Flavians 3 1 

It also seems strange that the Roman church chose to use Ire- 
naeus' list, considering that it originated in the East. The idea that 
Clement was the second pope is no weaker historically and reflects 
the papal sequence that was known in Rome. Perhaps early church 
officials preferred not to use a list stating that Clement was Peter's 
direct successor, because of the traditional view that he was a mem- 
ber of the Flavian family. 

The notion that Pope Clement was a Flavian was recorded in 
the Acts of Saints Nereus and Achilleus, a fifth- or sixth-century work 
based on even earlier traditions. This work directly linked the Fla- 
vian family to Christianity a fact that is noted in The Catholic Ency- 
clopedia: 

Titus Flavius Sabinus, consul in 82, put to death by Domit- 
ian [the Emperor Titus' brother], whose sister he had mar- 
ried. Pope Clement is represented as his son in the Acts of 
Saints Nereus and Achilleus. 33 

Titus Flavius Sabinus' brother, Clemens, was also linked to 
Christianity. The Acts of Saints Nereus and Achilleus states that 
Clemens was a Christian martyr. Clemens is believed to have mar- 
ried Vespasian's granddaughter and his first cousin, Flavia Domitilla, 
who was yet another Christian Flavian. In the case of Flavia Domi- 
tilla there is extant evidence linking her to Christianity. The oldest 
Christian burial site in Rome has inscriptions naming her as its 
founder: 

The catacomb of Domitilla is shown by existing inscriptions 
to have been founded by her. Owing to the purely legendary 
character of these Acts, we cannot use them as an argu- 
ment to aid in the controversy as to whether there were two 
Christians of the name of Domitilla in the family of the 
Christian Flavians, or only one, the wife of the Consul Flav- 
ius Clemens. 34 

The Talmud records the genealogy of Christianity's purported 
first pope differently than does the Acts of Saints Nereus and 
Achilleus. It records that the Flavia Domitilla who was the mother of 
Clemens (Kalonymos) was not Titus' niece but rather his sister. This 



32 Caesar's Messiah 

links Peter's purported successor a generation closer to Titus, per- 
haps placing him within his very household. 35 

Nereus and Achilleus, the authors of their Acts, are listed within 
The Catholic Encyclopedia as among the religion's first martyrs and 
were also linked to the Flavian family. 

The old Roman lists, of the fifth century, and which passed 
over into the Martyrologium Hiernoymianum, contain the 
names of the two martyrs Nereus and Achilleus, whose 
grave was in the Catacomb of Domitilla on the Via Ardeatina... 

The acts of these martyrs place their deaths in the end 
of the first and beginning of the second centuries. Accord- 
ing to these legends Nereus and Achilleus were eunuchs 
and chamberlains of Flavia Domitilla, a niece of the 
Emperor Domitian. The graves of these two martyrs were 
on an estate of the Lady Domitilla; we may conclude that 
they are among the most ancient martyrs of the Roman 
Church, and stand in very near relation to the Flavian fam- 
ily, of which Domitilla, the foundress of the catacomb, was 
a member. In the Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul mentions 
a Nereus with his sister, to whom he sends greetings. 36 

This reference by Paul to a Nereus and his sister is interesting. 
Tradition maintains that Domitian killed several family members 
who were Christians, as well as someone named Acilius Glabrio, 
whom a tradition also claims was a Christian, all of which permits 
the conjecture that the Nereus mentioned by Paul may have been 
the author of the Acts, and that the Achilleus Domitian slew may 
have been Nereus' literary partner. 

Another individual linked to both Christianity and the Flavian 
family was Bernice, the sister of Agrippa, who is actually described 
in the New Testament as having known the Apostle Paul. She 
became Titus' mistress and was living with him at the Flavian court 
in 75 C.E., the same time Josephus was purportedly writing War of 
the Jews. 

Flavius Josephus, an adopted member of the family, also had a 
connection to the beginnings of Christianity. His works provided the 
New Testament with its primary independent historical documenta- 



The First Christians and the Flavians 33 

tion and were certainly read by his imperial patrons. In fact, Titus 
ordered the publication of War of the Jews. In his autobiography, 
Josephus writes that Titus "was so desirous that the knowledge of 
these affairs should be taken from these books alone, that he affixed 
his own signature to them and gave orders for their publication." 37 

Perhaps the most unusual connection between Christianity and 
the Flavians, however, is the fact that Titus Flavius fulfilled all of 
Jesus' doomsday prophecies. As mentioned above, the parallels 
between the description of Titus' campaign in War of the Jews and 
Jesus' prophecies caused early church scholars to believe that Christ 
had seen into the future. The destruction of the temple, the encir- 
cling of Jerusalem with a wall, the towns of Galilee being "brought 
low," the destruction of what Jesus described as the "wicked gener- 
ation," etc. had all been prophesied by Jesus and then came to pass 
during Titus' military campaign through Judea — a campaign that, 
like Jesus' ministry, began in Galilee and ended in Jerusalem. 

Thus the Flavians are linked to Christianity by an unusual num- 
ber of facts and traditions. Early church documents flatly state that 
the family produced some of the religion's first martyrs, as well as the 
pope who succeeded Peter. The Flavians created much of the litera- 
ture that provides documentation for the religion, were responsible 
for its oldest known cemetery and housed individuals named in the 
New Testament within their imperial court. Further, the family was 
responsible for Jesus' apocalyptic prophecies having "come to pass." 

These connections clearly deserve more attention than they 
have received. Some explanation is required for the numerous tradi- 
tions linking an obscure Judean cult to the imperial family — con- 
nections that include not merely converts to the religion, but, if the 
Acts of Nereus and Achilleus and Eusebius are to be believed, the 
direct successor to Peter. 

If Christianity was invented by the Flavians to assist them in 
their struggle with Judaism, it would merely have been a variation 
upon a long-established theme. Using religion for the good of the 
state was a Roman technique long before the Flavians. In the fol- 
lowing quote, which could well have been studied by the young 
Titus Flavius during his education at the imperial court, Cicero not 
only prefigures much of Christian theology but also actually advo- 



34 Caesar's Messiah 

cates for the state to persuade the masses to adopt the theology most 
appropriate for the empire. 

We must persuade our citizens that the gods are the Lords 
and rulers of all things and what is done, is done by their 
will and authority; and they are the great benefactors of 
men, and know who everyone is, and what he does, and 
what sins he commits, and what he intends to do, and with 
what piety he fulfills his religious duties. 

Cicero, The Laws, 2:15-16 

Rome attempted not to replace the gods of its provinces but to 
absorb them. By the end of the first century Rome had accumulated 
so many foreign gods that virtually every day of the year celebrated 
some divinity. Roman citizens were encouraged to give offerings to 
all these gods as a way of maintaining the Pax Deorum, the "peace 
of the gods," a condition that the Caesars saw as beneficial to the 
empire. 

The Romans also used religion as a tool to assist them in con- 
quest. The leader of the Roman army, the consul, was a religious 
leader capable of communicating with the gods. The Romans devel- 
oped a specific ritual for inducing the gods of their enemies to defect 
to Rome. In this particular ritual, the devotio, a Roman soldier sacri- 
ficed himself to all the gods, including those of the enemy. In this 
way the Romans sought to neutralize their opponents' divine assis- 
tance. 

Thus, when Rome went to war with the Zealots in Judea it had 
a long tradition of absorbing the religions of its opponents. If 
Romans did invent Christianity, it would have been yet another 
example of neutralizing an enemy's religion by making it their own, 
rather than fighting against it. Rome would simply have transformed 
the militant Judaism of first-century Judea into a pacifist religion, to 
more easily absorb it into the empire. 

In any event, it is certain that the Caesars did attempt to control 
Judaism. From Julius Caesar on, the Roman emperor claimed per- 
sonal authority over the religion and selected its high priests. 

Caius Julius Caesar, imperator and high priest, and dicta- 
tor sendeth greeting... I will that Hyrcanus, the son of 



The First Christians and the Flavians 35 

Alexander, and his children . . . have the high priesthood of 
the Jews for ever .. . and if at any time hereafter there arise 
any questions about the Jewish customs, I will that he 
determine the same . . . 38 

Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 18, 3, 93 

Roman emperors appointed all the high priests recorded within 
the New Testament from a restricted circle of families who were 
allied to Rome. By selecting the individual who would determine 
any issue of "Jewish customs," the Caesars were managing Jewish 
theology for their own self-interest. Of course, what other way 
would a Caesar have managed a religion? 

Rome exercised control over the religion in a way that was 
unique in the history of its provincial governments. Rome micro- 
managed Second Temple Judaism to the extent of even determining 
when its priests could wear their holy vestments. 

... the Romans took possession of these vestments of the 
high priest, and had them reposited in a stone-chamber, 
and seven days before a festival they were delivered to . . . 
the high priest. . . 

In spite of these efforts, Rome's normal policy of absorbing the 
gods of its provinces did not succeed in Judea. Judaism would not 
permit its God to be just one among many, and Rome was forced to 
battle one Jewish insurrection after another. Having failed to control 
Judaism by naming its high priests, the imperial family would next 
attempt to control the religion by rewriting its Torah. 

I believe they took this step and created the Gospels to initiate 
a version of Judaism more acceptable to the Empire, a religion that in- 
stead of waging war against its enemies would "turn the other cheek." 

The theory of a Roman invention of Christianity does not orig- 
inate with this work. Bruno Bauer, a 19th-century German scholar, 
believed that Christianity was Rome's attempt to create a mass reli- 
gion that encouraged slaves to accept their station in life. In our era, 
Robert Eisenman concluded that the New Testament was the litera- 
ture of a Judaic messianic movement rewritten with a pro-Roman 
perspective. This work, however, presents a completely new way of 
understanding the New Testament. 



36 Caesar's Messiah 

I will show that the Gospels were created to be understood on 
two levels. On its surface level they are, of course, a description of 
the ministry of a miracle-working Messiah who rose from the dead. 
However, the New Testament was also designed to be understood in 
another way, which is as a satire of Titus Flavius' military campaign 
through Judea. The proof of this is simply that Jesus and Titus share 
parallel experiences at the same locations and in the same sequence. 
Those parallels are both too exact and too complex to have occurred 
by chance. That this fact has been overlooked for two millennia rep- 
resents a blind spot in scholarship as large as it is long. 

The Gospels were designed to become apparent as satire as soon 
as they were read in conjunction with War of the Jews. In fact, the 
four Gospels and War of the Jews were created as a unified piece of 
literature whose characters and stories interact. Their interaction 
gives many of Jesus' sayings a comical meaning and also creates a 
series of puzzles whose solutions reveal the real identities of the 
New Testament's characters. Understanding the New Testament's 
comic level reveals, for example, that the Apostles Simon and John 
were cruel lampoons of Simon and John, the leaders of the Jewish 
rebellion. 

Throughout this work I refer to Jesus' ministry as a satire of 
Titus' military campaign. I do so because the ministry was based on 
the campaign and was intended to be seen as humorous when 
viewed from that perspective. However, the relationship between 
these two "ministries" was not simply satirical. I shall show that 
Jesus' ministry was designed to prove that he was the Malachi, or 
messenger, of the "true" Messiah — Titus Flavius. 

Malachi means "my messenger" in Hebrew and was used as a 
cognomen for the prophet Elijah. This is because Judaic prophecy 
foretold that the Messiah would be preceded by the appearance of 
Elijah, who would act as the messenger of his imminent coming. 

But I shall send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of 
the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 

Malachi 4:5 

To show that Jesus' ministry was a forerunner of Titus' cam- 
paign the authors of the New Testament and War of the Jews used 



The First Christians and the Flavians 37 

typology, a technique that runs throughout Judaic literature. Key 
incidents in Jesus' ministry were created to be seen as the "type," or 
prophetical basis, for events from Titus' campaign and thereby 
"prove" that Jesus had been the Malachi of Titus. 

I will also show that Josephus falsified the dates of events in War 
of the Jews to create the impression that the prophecies of Daniel 
came to pass during the war between the Romans and the Jews. This 
was done to provide "proof for the New Testament's claim, on its 
surface level, that the "son of God" foreseen by Daniel was Jesus. 

The histories of Josephus and the New Testament are perhaps 
the most scrutinized works in literature and 1 encourage skepticism 
of my claim to have discovered a new, "true" way of understanding 
them. Throughout the ages, the New Testament has been an intel- 
lectual kaleidoscope within which fantastic prophecies and codes 
have often been "discovered." Extraordinary claims require extraor- 
dinary evidence, and I would not be presenting this work if I could 
not meet that criterion. 

However, it was the case that the Flavians possessed both the 
motivation and the capacity to create a version of Judaism aligned 
with their interests. Any honest seeker of Christianity's origin must, 
therefore, at least consider the possibility that the Flavians produced 
the Gospels. Further, the core of Jesus' prophecies — the Galilean vil- 
lages "laid low," Jerusalem encircled with a wall, the temple left with 
not a single stone atop another, and the "wicked generation" 
destroyed — all share one characteristic. Each is a military victory of 
the Flavian family. Thus, the oft-cited principle that history is writ- 
ten by the victors suggests that that family should be the first group 
we investigate. 

This is why we should attempt to understand the Gospels as 
they would have been understood by someone familiar with the 
conquest of Judea by Titus Flavius, emperor of Rome. And with this 
perspective, a completely different meaning of the Gospels becomes 
visible. 

They proclaim the divinity of Caesar. 



CHAPTER 2 



Fishers of Men: 
Men Who Were Caught Like Fish 



To begin to explain the relationship between Jesus' ministry and 
Titus' campaign that my analysis indicates is a satire, I point to the 
following passages. 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus is described at the onset of his 
ministry asking Simon and Andrew and the "sons of Zeb'edee" to 
"follow me" and to become "fishers of men." 

From that time Jesus began to preach. "Repent," He said, 
"for the Kingdom of the Heavens is now close at hand." 

And walking along the shore of the Lake of Galilee He saw 
two brothers — Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew- 
throwing a drag-net into the Lake; for they were fishers. 

And He said to them, "Come and follow me, and I will 
make you fishers of men." 

Matt. 4:18-19 

The same story is represented in the Gospel of Luke as follows: 
While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, 
he was standing by the lake of Gennes'aret. 

And so also were James and John, sons of Zeb'edee, 
who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, 
"Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." 

Luke 5:9-10 

In another passage from the New Testament, Jesus foresees that 
cities on Gennesareth Lake (better known as the Sea of Galilee) will 
face tribulation for their wickedness. 



38 



Fishers of Men: Men Who Were Caught Like Fish 39 

Woe to you Chorazain! Woe to you Bethsaida! 

And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will 
be brought down to Hades. 

Matt. 1 1 :23 

In War of the Jews, Josephus describes a sea battle where the 
Romans caught Jews like fish. The battle occurred at Gennesareth, 
where Titus attacked a band of Jewish rebels led by a leader named 
Jesus. 

This lake is called by the people of the country the Lake of 
Gennesareth . . . they had a great number of ships . . . and 
they were so fitted up, that they might undertake a Sea- 
fight. But as the Romans were building a wall about their 
camp, Jesus and his party . . . made a sally upon them. 

. . . Sometimes the Romans leaped into their ships, 
with swords in their hands, and slew them; but when some 
of them met the vessels, the Romans caught them by the 
middle, and destroyed at once their ships and themselves 
who were taken in them. And for such as were drowning in 
the sea, if they lifted their heads up above the water, they 
were either killed by darts, or caught by the vessels; but if, 
in the desperate case they were in, they attempted to swim 
to their enemies, the Romans cut off either their heads or 
their hands . . . 39 

A first-century peasant who heard Jesus' doomsday prophecy, 
which describes what would become of the inhabitants of the cities 
on Gennesareth Lake, and also heard the passage above from War of 
the Jews, which describes their destruction, would have understood 
the juxtaposition as evidence of Christ's divinity. What Jesus had 
prophesied, Josephus recorded as having come to pass. 

But an uneducated peasant could not have understood that 
there was another "prophecy" that came to pass within the passages 
above. I am referring to Christ's exhortation to become "fishers"or 
"catchers" of men, while standing on the spot where Jews would be 
caught like fish during the coming war with Rome. 

However, any patricians who knew the details of the sea battle 
at Gennesareth would have seen the irony in a Messiah who was 



40 Caesar's Messiah 

named "Savior" inventing the phrase "fishers of men" while stand- 
ing on the beach where the Jews were caught like fish. The grim 
comedy is self-evident. 

These two "fulfilled" prophecies exemplify the two levels on 
which the New Testament can be understood. Jesus' prophecy 
regarding the destruction of Chorazain and Capernaum is com- 
pletely straightforward and meant to be understood literally. 

The other "fulfilled" prophecy that of Jesus' prediction that his 
followers would become fishers for men, is not so straightforward. 
It could be understood only by someone who, like the residents of 
the Flavian court, had knowledge of the details of the sea battle 
between the Romans and the Jewish fishermen at Gennesareth. Only 
such individuals could have seen the prophetic irony in Jesus using 
the expression while standing on the very beach where the Jews 
would later be caught like fish. 

If the authors of the Gospels were being less than transparent 
when they referred to the Jewish rebels as fish, they were at least 
using a metaphor common in the first century. For example, Rabban 
(chief Rabbi) Gamaliel spoke of his disciples through a parable in 
which they were compared to four different kinds of fish — an 
unclean fish, a clean fish, a fish from the river Jordan, and a fish 
from the sea. Roman authors also used the metaphor. Juvenal, a con- 
temporary Roman poet, specifically compares fugitive slaves and 
informers to fish. 40 

The structure of the comedy is important. Jesus speaks of "catch- 
ing men" in a seemingly symbolic sense. Josephus then records that 
Jesus was indeed a "true" prophet. His vision of "catching men" at 
Gennesareth did come to pass, the joke being that it came to pass lit- 
erally, and not in the symbolic manner that Jesus seemed to have 
meant with the phrase. This is the most common structure of the 
humor created by reading the New Testament in conjunction with 
War of the Jews. 

If the New Testament and War of the Jews engage in an interac- 
tive comedy regarding "fishing" for men at Gennesareth, they also 
work to create another "fish" joke. As mentioned above, in Matthew 
11:23 Jesus predicted "woe" for "Chorazain." 



Fishers of Men: Men Who Were Caught Like Fish 41 

Scholars have always presumed that Jesus was referring to a 
Galilean fishing village. Josephus, however, gave a different defini- 
tion of the word "Chorazain." 

The country also that lies over against this lake hath the 
same name of Gennesareth . . . Some have thought it to be 
a vein of the Nile, because it produces the Coracin fish as 
well as the lake does which is near to Alexandria. 41 

So, while at the Sea of Galilee Jesus predicted woe for the 
Chorazain, and said that henceforth his disciples would follow him 
and become fishers for men. Titus' experience was strangely parallel 
to Jesus' prophecies in that he literally brought woe for the 
Chorazainians and his soldiers literally followed him and became 
"fishers of men." That is, they fished for the inhabitants of the vil- 
lage named for the Coracin fish. If the irony of juxtaposing the onset 
of Jesus' ministry and Titus' campaign was created deliberately, it 
apparently stemmed from the fact that Titus saw the humor in his 
"fishing" for the Chorazainians as they attempted to swim to safety. 

The previous examples, in and of themselves, are not convinc- 
ing evidence that there is a deliberate parallel between Jesus' min- 
istry and Titus' campaign. It is, after all, quite possible that it was 
just an unfortunate coincidence that Jesus chose the beach at Gen- 
nesareth as the spot where he described his future ministry as fish- 
ing for men. I present this example of the two levels of interpreta- 
tion that are possible while reading the New Testament in 
conjunction with War of the Jews, because it occurs near the begin- 
ning of both Jesus' and Titus' narratives. I show below that the 
sequence of events that take place in the New Testament and War of 
the Jews have a meaning not heretofore understood. 

However, the parallels that exist between the experiences of 
Jesus and Titus at Gennesareth are not limited to catching men. The 
first part of Jesus' statement is "Follow me" and "Do not be afraid." 
When one reads the passage from Josephus in which the Jews were 
"caught" it is also recorded that the soldiers who did the "catching" 
were told not to be afraid and indeed "followed" someone. As the 
next excerpts show, the person being followed was Titus, who told 
his troops not to be afraid. 



42 Caesar's Messiah 

"For you know very well that I go into danger first, and make 
the first attack upon the enemy. Do not you therefore desert 
me, but persuade yourselves that God will be assisting to 
my onset." 42 

And now Titus made his own horse march first against 
the enemy. 43 

As soon as ever Titus had said this he leaped upon his 
horse and rode apace down to the lake; by which lake he 
marched and entered the city the first of them all, as did the 
others soon after him. 44 

Thus, Josephus pointed out three times that Titus was the first 
into battle. And again, the Roman soldiers who would do the "fish- 
ing" literally followed Titus, creating another conceptual parallel 
with Jesus. 

In fact, the New Testament passage above, in which Jesus asks 
his disciples "follow me," and the passage from Josephus in which 
Titus asks his troops to follow, so that they can become fishers of 
men, have a number of other parallels. 

Like Jesus, Titus had been sent by his father. 

So he sent away his son Titus to Casarea, that he might 
bring the army that lay there to Scythopolis. 45 

While it is hardly unusual to follow a leader into battle or to 
have been sent by one's father, Titus, again like Jesus at Gennesareth, 
is in a sense beginning his ministry there. He states that the battle is 
to be his "onset." 

"Do not you therefore desert me, but persuade yourselves 
that God will be assisting to my onset." 46 

The Greek word that Josephus uses here, horme means "onset" 
in English, that is, either an assault or a starting point. From Titus' 
perspective the moment can be seen as a starting point because it is 
his first battle in Galilee entirely under his command. 

To summarize, though there were thousands of other possible 
locations, both Jesus and Titus can be said to have had the onset of 
their narratives at Gennesareth, and in a manner that involved fish- 
ing for men — parallels that are unusual enough to at least permit 



Fishers of Men: Men Who Were Caught Like Fish 43 



TITUS AND JESUS COMPARED: AT THE "SEA" OF GALILEE 
TITUS JESUS 



Start of a 


describes this battle as 


this is the start of the 


campaign 


the "onset" of his sole 


ministry of Jesus 


(War 3, 10, 2) 


command of the army 




Sent by his 


"he sent away his son 


sent by his father in 


father 


Titus to Caesarea" (War 
3,9,7) 


heaven 


His followers 


"entered the city the first 


"brought their boat to 


followed 


of them all, and the 


shore and followed him" 




others soon after him" 


(Luke 5:10) 




(War 3, 10,5) 




Reassures 


"you know very well that 


"Do not be afraid" 


troops not to 


I go into danger first, do 


(Luke 5:10) 


be afraid 


not therefore desert me" 
(War 3, 10, 2) 




Reference to 


"it produces the Coracin 


"Woe to you Chorazain" 


Chorazain 


fish" (War 3, 10,8) 


(prophecy in Matt. 1 1 :23) 


Presence of a 


Jesus is the leader of the 


another Jesus is the 


Jesus 


rebels at the Sea of 


leader of disciples at 




Galilee 


the Sea of Galilee 


Fishing for 


the Jews fall out of their 


"I will make you fishers 


men 


boats "such as were 
drowning in the sea . . . 
attempted to swim to 
their enemies, the 
Romans cut off either 
their heads or their 
hands" (War 3, 10, 8, 
clause 527) 


of men" (Matt. 4:19) 



44 Caesar's Messiah 

questioning whether they were the product of coincidence. Further, 
the parallels are of the same nature as the typological relationship 
shown above between Jesus and Moses. The connections between 
Jesus and Titus are made up of parallel concepts, locations, and 
sequences. 

Moreover, these parallels must be viewed in conjunction with 
the historical parallels between Jesus and Titus. Jesus predicted that 
a Son of Man would come to Judea before the generation that cruci- 
fied him had passed away, encircle Jerusalem with a wall, and then 
destroy the temple, not leaving one stone atop another. Titus was the 
only individual in history that could be said to have fulfilled Jesus' 
prophecies concerning the Son of Man. He came to Jerusalem before 
the generation that crucified Christ had passed away, encircled 
Jerusalem with a wall, and had the temple demolished. 

The overlaps between Jesus' prophecies and Titus' accomplish- 
ments make the "fishers of men" parallel more difficult to accept as 
random. And this is just the beginning of the uncanny parallels 
between the two men who called themselves the "son of God" and 
whose "ministries" began in Galilee and end in Jerusalem. (See chart 
on page 43.) 



CHAPTER 3 



The Son of Mary 
Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 



To understand the parallels between Jesus' ministry and Titus' cam- 
paign it was necessary to make a series of discoveries, each new 
insight providing the capacity to make the next. This process began 
when I came across the following passage in War of the Jews and con- 
cluded that the parallels between the "son of Mary" described in it 
and the "son of Mary" in the Gospels were too precise to have been 
the product of circumstance. 

While readers can judge this claim for themselves, it should be 
noted that Josephus wrote during an age in which allegory was 
regarded as a science. Educated readers were expected to be able to 
understand another meaning within religious and historical litera- 
ture. The Apostle Paul, for example, stated that passages from the 
Hebrew Scriptures were allegories that looked forward to Christ's 
birth. I believe that in the following passage Josephus is using alle- 
gory to reveal something else about Jesus. 

The passage begins with Josephus speaking in the first person. 
He describes the difficulty he is having in writing about an excep- 
tionally grisly event caused by the famine that occurred during the 
Roman siege of Jerusalem. 

But why do I describe the shameless impudence that the 
famine brought on men in their eating inanimate things, 
while I am going to relate a matter of fact, the like to which 
no history relates? It is horrible to speak of it, and incredi- 
ble when heard. I had indeed willingly omitted this calamity 
of ours, that I might not seem to deliver what is so porten- 



45 



46 Caesar's Messiah 

tous to posterity, but that I have innumerable witnesses to 
it in my own age . . . 47 

He then describes the event: 

There was a certain woman that dwelt beyond Jordan, her 
name was Mary; her father was Eleazar, of the village 
Bethezob, which signifies the house of Hyssop. She was 
eminent for her family and her wealth, and had fled away to 
Jerusalem with the rest of the multitude, and was with 
them besieged therein at this time. The other effects of this 
woman had been already seized upon, such I mean as she 
had brought with her out of Perea, and removed to the city. 
What she had treasured up besides, as also what food she 
had contrived to save, had been also carried off by the rapa- 
cious guards, who came every day running into her house 
for that purpose. This put the poor woman into a very great 
passion, and by the frequent reproaches and imprecations 
she cast at these rapacious villains, she had provoked them 
to anger against her; but none of them, either out of the 
indignation she had raised against herself, or out of com- 
miseration of her case, would take away her life; and if she 
found any food, she perceived her labors were for others, 
and not for herself; and it was now become impossible for 
her any way to find any more food, while the famine pierced 
through her very bowels and marrow, when also her pas- 
sion was fired to a degree beyond the famine itself; nor did 
she consult with any thing but with her passion and the 
necessity she was in. She then attempted a most unnatural 
thing; and snatching up her son, who was a child sucking at 
her breast, she said, "O thou miserable infant! for whom 
shall I preserve thee in this war, this famine, and this sedi- 
tion? As to the war with the Romans, if they preserve our 
lives, we must be slaves. This famine also will destroy us, 
even before that slavery comes upon us. Yet are these sedi- 
tious rogues more terrible than both the other. Come on; be 
thou my food, and be thou a fury to these seditious varlets, 
and a by-word to the world, which is all that is now wanting 
to complete the calamities of us Jews. 



The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 47 

As soon as she had said this, she slew her son, and 
then roasted him, and ate the one half of him, and kept the 
other half by her concealed. Upon this the seditious came 
in presently, and smelling the horrid scent of this food, they 
threatened her that they would cut her throat immediately 
if she did not show them what food she had gotten ready. 
She replied that she had saved a very fine portion of it for 
them, and withal uncovered what was left of her son. Here- 
upon they were seized with a horror and amazement of mind, 
and stood astonished at the sight, when she said to them, 

"This is mine own son, and what hath been done was 
mine own doing! Come, eat of this food; for I have eaten of 
it myself! Do not you pretend to be either more tender than 
a woman, or more compassionate than a mother; but if you 
be so scrupulous, and do abominate this my sacrifice, as I 
have eaten the one half, let the rest be reserved for me also." 

After which those men went out trembling, being never 
so much afrighted at any thing as they were at this, and with 
some difficulty they left the rest of that meat to the mother. 48 

I would first note that while the passage may have been based 
on an actual event, Josephus seems to have invented the dialogue. 
There are no witnesses to the speech Mary gives before she kills her 
son. It is, of course, unlikely that a mother would have slain and 
eaten her son in the presence of others. 

To see the satire that lies within this passage one must first under- 
stand the phrase "Bethezob, which signifies the House of Hyssop." 

Beth is the Hebrew word for "house" and Ezob is the Hebrew 
word for "hyssop," hyssop being the plant that Moses commanded 
the Israelites to use when marking their houses with the blood of the 
sacrificed Passover lamb. This mark identified the houses that the 
Angel of Death would "pass over." 

Then Moses called on the elders of Israel and said to them, 
Pick out and take lambs for yourselves according to your 
families, and kill the Passover lamb. 

And you shall take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood 
that is in the basin, and strike the lintel and the two door- 
posts with the blood that is in the basin . . . 49 



48 Caesar's Messiah 

The phrase House of Hyssop, therefore, brings to mind the first 
Passover sacrifice. Another statement in this passage can also be 
seen as relating to the Passover sacrifice. After slaying her son, the 
woman roasts the body. In God's instructions to Moses as to how to 
prepare the Passover sacrifice, God ordered the following: "Do not 
eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire — its head 
with its legs and its entrails." 50 

Thus, in the passage from War of the Jews we are analyzing, 
Mary's son can be seen as a symbolic Passover lamb. This is the same 
method used by the author of the New Testament, who also denoted 
the symbolic Passover lamb by combining a reference to hyssop with 
an instruction to Moses about preparing the Passover lamb — that 
not one of its bones be broken. 

Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they 
filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop and put it to 
his mouth. 

So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It 
is finished!" And bowing his head, He gave up his spirit. 

Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first 
and of the other who was crucified with him. 

But when they came to Jesus and saw him already 
dead, they did not break His legs. 

John 19 

Identifying Jesus with the symbolic Passover lamb at his cruci- 
fixion continued a theme begun at the Passover supper where Jesus 
asked the disciples to eat of his flesh. 

Also during the meal He took a Passover biscuit, blessed it, 
and broke it. He then gave it to them, saying, Take this, it is 
my body. 

Mark 14:22-27 

There is, then, a parallel between the New Testament's son of 
Mary who asks that his body be eaten and the son of Mary Josephus 
described, who actually has his flesh eaten. 

Josephus connects the Mary described in his passage to the 
Mary in the New Testament with another of the details he records. 



The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 49 

He describes the famine — as Winston translates it above — as having 
"pierced through Mary's very bowels." In the New Testament, being 
pierced through is predicted for only one person, Jesus' mother Mary: 

Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, 
Behold this child is destined for the fall and rising of many 
in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a 
sword will pierce through your own soul also; that the rea- 
sonings in many hearts may be revealed.") 

Luke 2:35 

The fact that the New Testament's Mary and the Mary in War of 
the Jews both had their heart pierced has, to my knowledge, never 
been noticed by another scholar. The reason for the oversight is 
important. Scholars have not noticed the parallel between the two 
Marys because it is more conceptual than linguistic. In the New Tes- 
tament the Greek words making up the phase are dierchomai psuche 
while in War of the Jews they are dia splanchon. Though the words 
that indicate the piercing through, dia 51 and dierchomai, are lin- 
guistically related (the verb dierchomai having the preposition dia as 
part of its stem), the words used to describe the part of Mary that 
was to be pierced through — psuche and splanchon — are different. 

Psuche, 53 the word translated in the New Testament above as 
"soul," can also mean "heart," or "the seat of emotions." Splanchon, 
the Greek word that Josephus uses to describe the part of Mary that 
was pierced through, is translated above as "bowels," but is in fact a 
synonym for psuche, and can mean either "inward parts," especially 
the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, or, like psuche, it can mean "the 
seat of the emotions." Scholars have not seen this conceptual paral- 
lel between the two Marys simply because it was created using dif- 
ferent words, even though the words mean the same thing. 

In other words, if a prophet predicted that "next week a dog will 
bite a mailman" and a historian recorded that during that week "a 
cur sank its teeth into a letter carrier" the prophecy, in fact, came to 
pass even though the prophet and the historian used different words 
to describe the event. The concept the prophet predicted was the 
same as the one the historian recorded. 



50 Caesar's Messiah 

The "fulfilled prophecy" of the "bitten postman" cannot be seen 
through an analysis of the individual words that the historian and 
the prophet used. Likewise, the satirical system that exists between 
the New Testament and War of the Jews cannot be seen by analyzing 
their individual words and nuances of grammar. The system is made 
up of parallel concepts, not parallel words. 

Notice also that the parallel "heart piercings" of the two Marys 
are prophetically logical. This is to say that the Mary in the New Tes- 
tament is the one predicted to have her heart "pierced through" in 
the future and the Mary in War of the Jews, which occurred later, is 
the one who fulfilled this prophecy. If the New Testament had stated 
that Mary's heart had been pierced through, then the logic of this 
prophecy would have been contradicted. And notice also that the 
statement in the New Testament, though innocuous, is a prophecy. 
One reason that the comic level of the New Testament has remained 
unseen is because scholars have failed to recognize the many seem- 
ingly innocuous New Testament prophecies that are fulfilled within 
War of the Jews. 

Josephus has, thus, described a Mary who fulfilled the prophecy 
made for the Mary in the New Testament, in that she was "pierced 
through the heart." As this Mary is of the "House of Hyssop" and her 
son is a "sacrifice" who was "roasted" and his flesh was eaten, he can 
certainly be likened to a human Passover lamb, like the one estab- 
lished in the New Testament. Josephus' use of the word "splanchon" 
also builds on this theme — "splanchon" being the Greek word that 
was used to describe those parts of a sacrificed animal reserved to be 
eaten by sacrificers at the beginning of their feast. Yet another detail 
recorded by Josephus also links this passage to the New Testament. 
Josephus gives the name of Mary's father as Eleazar, which in Greek 
is Lazarus, the name of the individual whom Jesus raised from the 
dead. 

To summarize, within this short passage Josephus has used a 
number of concepts and names that are parallel to those associated 
with the New Testament's symbolic Passover lamb. These are a 
mother named Mary; the fact that this Mary was pierced through the 
heart; a son of Mary; hyssop; a son who is a sacrifice; a son whose 
flesh is eaten; a son who is to become a "byword to the world," one 



The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 5 1 

of Moses' instructions regarding the Passover lamb; an individual 
named Lazarus (Eleazar); and Jerusalem as the location of the inci- 
dent. It is unlikely that there is another passage in all of literature 
that contains, by chance, as many as half the number of parallels 
with a concept as singular as Christianity's Passover lamb. When I 
first recognized these parallels I felt that the simplest explanation for 
such an improbable grouping was that it had been deliberately cre- 
ated and that, therefore, the passage was a lampoon of Jesus. 

To argue against this proposition one must accept this idea that 
Josephus unknowingly recorded these parallels in such detail within 
a passage of less than two pages. However, because Josephus wrote 
War of the Jews while living in the Flavian court, a place where 
Christianity flourished, and was one of the few historians to have 
recorded Jesus' existence, he would seem to be among the authors 
least likely to have recorded a satire of Christ accidentally. 

For example, if the passage in question had occurred within a 
work by Tolstoy, there would be virtually complete agreement that it 
was a deliberate satire. And notice that when viewed from such a 
perspective the passage would certainly be seen as comical, the irony 
being self-evident of a Messiah who instructs his followers to sym- 
bolically "eat of my flesh" actually having his flesh eaten by his 
mother. 

I shall show in a later chapter that Josephus' passage shares yet 
another parallel with the life of Jesus, that of "Mary's fine portion 
that was not taken away from her" — a parallel that when seen in 
combination with those noted above puts the proposition that Jose- 
phus was intentionally satirizing Jesus beyond doubt. 

If Josephus was lampooning Jesus, what was his purpose? An 
obvious explanation is that he wrote the passage to amuse a group 
on whom the joke would not be lost: he would have created it to be 
enjoyed by the Flavians and their inner circle. 

This conclusion is especially plausible in light of the fact that 
there were individuals within the Flavian court who were aware of 
Christianity around the time Josephus published War of the Jews. 
Further, there were four colleges in Rome that were responsible for 
overseeing the religions within the empire. Because religion was an 



52 Caesar's Messiah 

important tool of the state, these colleges had considerable political 
power. From Augustus on, the emperor was a member of all four 
colleges, one of which, the Quindecimviri Sacris Faciundis, was 
responsible for the regulation of foreign cults in Rome. All the Fla- 
vian emperors were members of this college and would have cate- 
gorized Christianity as a foreign cult during this era. 

Moreover, the most obvious reason to believe that there were 
Flavians familiar with Christianity is that so much of the New Tes- 
tament is related to the family. The Flavians brought about the ful- 
fillment of all of Jesus' doomsday prophecies — the destruction of the 
temple, the encircling of Jerusalem with a wall, the towns of Galilee 
being brought low, and the destruction of what Jesus describes as the 
"wicked generation." Titus' mistress, Bernice, and Tiberius Alexan- 
der, his chief of staff during the siege of Jerusalem, are actually 
named within the New Testament. A cult whose canon prophesied 
the accomplishments of the Flavians, named individuals within its 
inner circle, and actually had converts within the imperial family 
would certainly have been scrutinized during an era when the regu- 
lation of religion was so important that the emperor himself was 
involved with it. 

Titus is known to have reviewed War of the Jews. As noted 
above, Josephus wrote that Titus so wished that "the knowledge of 
these affairs should be taken from these books alone, that he affixed 
his own signature to them." Thus, Titus certainly had read the pas- 
sage describing the Mary who ate her son and, considering the tra- 
ditions connecting his family to Christianity, could well have under- 
stood its ironic parallels with the mother of Jesus. Again, though 
Jesus seems to be speaking symbolically when he speaks of having 
his flesh eaten as a Passover sacrifice, in Josephus' history we see a 
literal interpretation of Jesus' words, which renders them blackly 
comic. 

If the passage is a satire of Jesus, a number of statements Jose- 
phus makes within it can be seen as double entendres. The reader 
need only read these statements from the perspective that the Fla- 
vians had invented Christianity and their satirical meaning will 
become obvious. Some of these are found in Josephus' narration: 



The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 53 

It is horrible to speak of it, and incredible when heard . . . 

While I am going to relate a matter of fact, the like to which 
no history relate . . . 

I might not seem to deliver what is so portentous to 
posterity . . . 

I have innumerable witnesses to it in my own age . . . 

But the most important play on words is found within Mary's 
address to her "miserable child," wherein she states 

"... be thou a fury to these seditious varlets and a byword 
to the world, which is all that is now wanting to complete 
the calamities of us Jews." 

As I have suggested, this quote seems to have been invented by 
Josephus. Not only were there no witnesses to hear them, but they 
are, on their face, dubious. Would a mother who has eaten her son 
really wish him to become a byword to the world? Further, taken lit- 
erally, Mary's words seem incoherent. Why would her child become 
a "fury" to the "varlets" — that is, the Jewish rebels against Rome — 
by being cannibalized? And why would this "complete the calami- 
ties of us Jews"? 

Within the context of a lampoon of Jesus the meaning of the 
phrase becomes clear. The author is not merely ridiculing Christ. He 
is stating that Jesus will "complete the calamity" of the Jews by 
becoming a byword to the world and that the spread of Christianity 
will "complete" the destruction of the Jews. 

This interpretation indicates that Christianity was designed to 
promote anti-Semitism — a concept that is at least plausible, histori- 
cally. A cult that produced anti-Semitism would have both helped 
Rome prevent the messianic Jews from spreading their rebellion and 
punished them by poisoning their future. 

The New Testament has numerous passages that seem deliber- 
ately intended to cause Christians to hate Jews. Though Christian 
apologists have attempted to explain away such passages, there are 
clear examples of this technique throughout the New Testament. 



54 Caesar's Messiah 

The most famous occurs in the Gospel of Matthew, in which Pilate, 
after having "washed his hands of the blood of this just person" tells 
the Jews that they, not the Roman authorities, must be the ones 
responsible for crucifying Christ. The Jews responded thus: 

... all the people answered and said, 

"His blood will be on us and on our children." 54 

Some scholars have speculated that later Christian redactors 
inserted the anti-Semitism passages into the New Testament out of 
hatred for the people who had crucified their savior. My interpreta- 
tion of the passage above suggests the opposite. The New Testament 
was designed to promote anti-Semitism. 

If Christianity had been created by the Flavians to "complete 
the calamities" of the Jews, why had the religion's inventors created 
a Messiah who was a symbolic Passover lamb? The symbolism of 
John 19 and the passage from Josephus we have been analyzing, 
which set up the symbolic Passover lambs, both stem from Exodus 
12, where God tells Moses and Aaron how to observe the Passover 
"throughout their generations": 

This is the ordinance of Passover: no foreigner shall eat it. 

But every man's servant who is bought for money, and 
when you have circumcised him, then he may eat it. 

In one house it shall be eaten; you shall not carry any 
of the flesh outside the house, nor shall you break one of its 
bones. 

All the congregation of Israel shall keep it. 

And when a stranger dwells with you and wants to keep 
the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised 
and let him come near and keep it; and he shall be a native 
of the land. For no uncircumcised person shall eat it. 

The above passage may have provided one of the motives 
behind the decision to establish a Messiah whose flesh may be eaten 
by all humanity. God's instruction to Moses regarding how only the 
circumcised, the Jews, may eat of the Passover lamb is one social 
marker of the religious separateness of the Jewish people. 

Judaism's requirement of religious separatism was one of the 
causes of the war with the, Romans. By creating a Passover lamb for 



The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 55 

all mankind, the New Testament was clearly, on one level, ending 
the religious separatism that made it impossible for Judaism to be 
absorbed into the Roman Empire. However, another passage within 
War of the Jews may reveal a more comic inspiration for Christian- 
ity's human Passover lamb. 

As the number that perished during this whole siege, eleven 
hundred thousand, the greater part of whom were indeed of 
the same nation, [with the citizens of Jerusalem], but not 
belonging to the city itself; for they were come up from all 
the country for the feast of the unleavened bread. And were 
on a sudden shut up by an army, which at the very first, 
occasioned so great a straitness among them that there 
came a pestilential destruction upon them, and soon after- 
ward such a famine as destroyed them more suddenly. 55 

Thus, the Romans were aware that they had besieged Jerusalem 
at a time when Passover celebrants had swollen its population. As 
starvation set in, these Passover celebrants, like the Mary described 
by Josephus, engaged in cannibalism. The Roman historian Sueto- 
nius, writing in the third century, also recorded that there was can- 
nibalism during the siege of Jerusalem. 

The Jews, meanwhile, being closely besieged, as no chance 
either of peace or surrender was allowed them, were at 
length perishing from famine, and the streets began every- 
where to be filled with dead bodies, for the duty of burying 
them could no longer be performed. Moreover, they ven- 
tured on eating all things of the most abominable nature, 
and did not even abstain from human bodies, except those 
which putrefaction had already laid hold of and thus 
excluded from use as food. 

The cannibalism that occurred during the siege of Jerusalem is, 
therefore, a candidate as the inspiration behind Christianity's "flesh 
eating" innovation. This premise is especially plausible in light of 
the fact that so much of Jesus' ministry involved prophecy, and these 
prophecies all seemed to have come to pass within War of the Jews. 
In other words, the New Testament's "son of Mary" telling his disci- 



56 Caesar's Messiah 

pies that they must "eat of my flesh" would simply have been 
another prophecy Josephus recorded as having come to pass. 

If the Romans did create the New Testament, they invented the 
darkly comic narrative about a human Passover lamb to satirize the 
grim "feast" of the starving Passover celebrants who were trapped 
inside Jerusalem. Josephus' story concerning the "starving Mary" 
and the sacrament of communion are both reflections of this comic 
theme. 

Though the strange fact that Jesus' flesh was the basis for the 
sacrament is not often noted today, this may not have been the case 
during Christianity's first centuries. Eusebius recorded that early 
Christians had to defend themselves against charges of infanticide 
and cannibalism: 

. . . she contradicted the blasphemers. "How," she said, 
"could those eat children who do not think it lawful to taste 
the blood even of irrational animals?" And thenceforward 
she confessed herself a Christian. 56 

Members of the Flavian court could have understood the pas- 
sage from Josephus as black comedy because such individuals would 
have seen irony in Jesus telling his followers, particularly at 
Jerusalem, where Jews resorted to cannibalism, that "the bread that 1 
give is my flesh." From the Flavian perspective, the comedy is self- 
evident. 

The short chapter in War of the Jews that contains the "son of 
Mary" passage concludes with Titus, having been told the story of 
the mother who ate her son's flesh, delivering a sermon on the 
meaning of the sordid affair. 

But for Caesar, he excused himself before God as to this 
matter, and said that he had proposed peace and liberty to 
the Jews, as well as an oblivion of all their former insolent 
practices; but that they, instead of concord, had chosen 
sedition; instead of peace, war; and before satiety and 
abundance, a famine. That they had begun with their own 
hands to burn down that temple which we have preserved 
hitherto; and that therefore they deserved to eat such food 
as this was. That, however, this horrid action of eating an 



The Son of Mary Who Was a Passover Sacrifice 57 

own child ought to be covered with the overthrow of their 
very country itself, and men ought not to leave such a city 
upon the habitable earth to be seen by the sun, wherein 
mothers are thus fed, although such food be fitter for the 
fathers than for the mothers to eat of, since it is they that 
continue still in a state of war against us, after they have 
undergone such miseries as these. And at the same time 
that he said this, he reflected on the desperate condition 
these men must be in; nor could he expect that such men 
could be recovered to sobriety of mind, after they had 
endured those very sufferings, for the avoiding whereof it 
only was probable they might have repented. 57 

Titus' use of the word "repent" here is interesting. "Repent" is, 
of course, one of the key words of Jesus' ministry and Caesar's usage 
of it brings the parallels even tighter. Jesus states repeatedly, 
"Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand," but exactly what sin does 
he wish the Jews to repent of? Jesus never gives an answer to this 
question. However, if my interpretation of the lampoon is correct, 
the sin of which Jesus wishes the Jews to repent becomes obvious. It 
is their rebellion against Rome. 



CHAPTER 4 



The Demons of Gadara 



When I first came across the passage from War of the Jews describ- 
ing a son of Mary whose flesh was eaten and recognized its linkage 
to Christianity, I was perplexed. The more I studied the passage the 
more I was convinced that it had been deliberately created as a lam- 
poon — but as more than just a lampoon of Jesus. It appeared to be a 
disclosure of a different origin of Christianity than the one that had 
been passed down to the modern era. That is, that Christianity had 
been created to be a "calamity" upon the Jews. 1 began to analyze 
War of the Jews to determine if it contained other passages that could 
be seen as satirical disclosures regarding this different version of 
Christianity's origin. 

That was when it became clear to me that there were humorous 
parallels between the story line of Jesus' ministry and Titus' cam- 
paign through Judea, and that among them was their similar experi- 
ence near the town of Gadara. 

Each of the Synoptic Gospels tells a story of Jesus coming to 
Gadara where he meets a man who is possessed by demons (in 
Matthew, Jesus meets two demon-possessed men, a point I shall 
return to). In the versions of the story found in Mark and Luke, 
when Jesus asks the demon his name, the demon replies: 

My name is Legion: for we are many. 

Mark 5:9 

I found it interesting that the demon would choose to describe 
himself and his cohort as a component of an army. Remembering 
that the location where Jesus asked his disciples to become "fishers 



58 



The Demons of Gadara 59 

of men" was used to create a comic linkage to an event that occurred 
at the same location in War of the Jews, I wondered whether the use 
of the word "legion" by the demon might be satirically related to an 
event in War of the Jews that occurred near Gadara. 

The passage in Mark describing the demoniac of Gadara tells of 
Jesus' encounter with a man possessed by numerous demons. These 
demons leave the man at Jesus' bidding and then enter into a herd 
of swine. Once the swine are possessed by the demons, they rush 
wildly into the sea and drown. The passage does not reveal what 
happened to the demons after the swine drown. Note that in the New 
Testament "unclean spirits" are synonymous with devils and demons. 

And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the 
country of the Gadarenes. 

And when he was come out of the ship, immediately 
there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean 
spirit, 

Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man 
could bind him, no, not with chains: 

Because that he had been often bound with fetters and 
chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, 
and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man 
tame him. 

And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, 
and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. 

But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped 
him, 

And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do 
with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure 
thee by God, that thou torment me not. 

For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou 
unclean spirit. 

And he asked him, What is thy name? And he 
answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. 

And he besought him much that he would not send 
them away out of the country. 

Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great 
herd of swine feeding. 



60 Caesar's Messiah 

And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into 
the swine, that we may enter into them. 

And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean 
spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd 
ran violently down a steep place into the sea (they were 
about two thousand), and were choked in the sea. 

And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, 
and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that 
was done. 

And they come to Jesus, and see him that was pos- 
sessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and 
clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. 

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis 
how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did 
marvel. 58 

In War of the Jews, there is a short chapter that describes the bat- 
tle at Gadara. The chapter begins with a description of how "John" 
rose to power as a leader of the rebellion. 

By this time John was beginning to tyrannize . .. Now some 
submitted to him out of their fear of him, and others out of 
their good-will to him; for he was a shrewd man to entice 
men to him, both by deluding them and putting cheats upon 
them. Nay, many there were that thought they should be 
safer themselves, if the causes of their past insolent 
actions should now be reduced to one head, and not to a 
great many. 

Thus, Josephus described John as a "tyrant" into whose "one 
head" the "insolent actions" of many had been "reduced." Josephus 
next describes the Sicarii, the most militant fraction of the Jewish 
rebellion, who, he states, were able to undertake "greater matters" 
because of the "sedition and tyranny" that John had created. 

There was a fortress of very great strength not far from 
Jerusalem ... called Masada. Those that were called Sicarii 
had taken possession of it formerly, but at this time they 
overran the neighboring countries, aiming only to procure 
to themselves necessaries; for the fear they were then in 



The Demons of Gadara 6 1 

prevented their further ravages. But when once they were 
informed that the Roman army lay still, and that the Jews 
were divided between sedition and tyranny, they boldly 
undertook greater matters . .. Now as it is in a human body, 
if the principal part be inflamed, all the members are sub- 
ject to the same distemper; so, by means of the sedition 
and disorder that was in the metropolis . . . had the wicked 
men that were in the country opportunity to ravage the 
same. Accordingly, when every one of them had plundered 
their own villages, they then retired into the desert; yet 
were these men that now got together, and joined in the 
conspiracy by parties, too small for an army, and too many 
for a gang of thieves . . . 

Josephus then describes the beginning of Vespasian's pacifica- 
tion of the Judean countryside. His first assault was on Gadara, a city 
held by the rebels. 

These things were told Vespasian by deserters; Accordingly, 
he marched against Gadara, the metropolis of Perea, which 
was a place of strength, and entered that city on the fourth 
day of the month Dystrus [Adar]; for the men of power had 
sent an embassage to him, without the knowledge of the 
seditious, to treat about a surrender; which they did out of 
the desire they had of peace, and for saving their effects, 
because many of the citizens of Gadara were rich men. This 
embassy the opposite party knew nothing of, but discovered 
it as Vespasian was approaching near the city. However, 
they despaired of keeping possession of the city, as being 
inferior in number to their enemies who were within the 
city, and seeing the Romans very near to the city; so they 
resolved to fly. 

Josephus then states that after being driven from Gadara the rebels 
fled to another town, where they conscripted a group of young men 
into their ranks. This combined group then ran "like the wildest of 
beasts" attempting to escape. Eventually many were forced to "leap" 
the river Jordan, where they drowned. So many dying in the river that, 
it "could not be passed over, by reason of the dead bodies that were in." 



62 Caesar's Messiah 

But as soon as these fugitives saw the horsemen that pur- 
sued them just upon their backs, and before they came to a 
close fight, they ran together to a certain village, which was 
called Bethennabris, where finding a great multitude of 
young men, and arming them, partly by their own consent, 
partly by force, they rashly and suddenly assaulted Placidus 
and the troops that were with him. These horsemen at the 
first onset gave way a little, as contriving to entice them fur- 
ther off the wall; and when they had drawn them into a 
place fit for their purpose, they made their horses encom- 
pass them round, and threw their darts at them. So the 
horsemen cut off the flight of the fugitives, while the foot 
terribly destroyed those that fought against them; for those 
Jews did no more than show their courage, and then were 
destroyed; for as they fell upon the Romans when they were 
joined close together, and, as it were, walled about with 
their entire armor, they were not able to find any place 
where the darts could enter, nor were they any way able to 
break their ranks, while they were themselves run through 
by the Roman darts, and, like the wildest of wild beasts, 
rushed upon the point of others' swords; so some of them 
were destroyed, as cut with their enemies' swords upon 
their faces, and others were dispersed by the horsemen. 

... As for those that ran out of the village, they stirred 
up such as were in the country, and exaggerating their own 
calamities, and telling them that the whole army of the 
Romans were upon them, they put them into great fear on 
every side; so they got in great numbers together, and fled 
to Jericho . . . But Placidus . . . slew all that he overtook, as 
far as Jordan; and when he had driven the whole multitude 
to the river-side, he put his soldiers in array over against 
them ... At which fight, hand to hand, fifteen thousand of 
them were slain, while the number of those that were 
unwillingly forced to leap into Jordan was prodigious. There 
were besides two thousand and two hundred taken prison- 
ers. A mighty prey was taken also, consisting of asses, and 
sheep, and camels, and oxen. 59 



The Demons of Gadara 63 

As I compared Josephus' and the New Testament's Gadara sto- 
ries I recognized that there were similarities between them. For 
example, the demoniac in the New Testament's story is described as 
having a "Legion" of demons inside him. The rebel "tyrant," John, is 
described as having "the past insolent actions [of the many] reduced 
to [his] one head." Thus, the demoniac of Gadara can be likened to 
Josephus' description of John. 

Further, Josephus indicates that the Sicarii were only able to 
become a Judea-wide movement because of John's effort to establish 
himself as a tyrant. Before John's "wickedness" they engaged in lim- 
ited activities — "at this time they overran the neighboring countries, 
aiming only to procure to themselves necessaries; for the fear they 
were then in prevented their further ravages." However, once John 
had divided the country, "between sedition and tyranny, they boldly 
undertook greater matters." These "greater matters" being recruit- 
ment and expansion of their movement throughout the countryside 
and Jerusalem, "Nor was there now any part of Judea that was not 
in a miserable condition, as well as its most eminent city also." So, 
like the demons that sprang forth out of one man at Gadara, the 
expansion of the Sicarii can be said to have come about as the result 
of the wickedness inside of "one head." 

In another passage in War of the Jews Josephus repeats the con- 
cept of John, like the demoniac of Gadara, filling the "entire coun- 
try with ten thousand instances of wickedness." 

Yet did John demonstrate by his actions that these Sicarii 
were more moderate than he was himself, for he not only 
slew all such as gave him good counsel to do what was right, 
but treated them worst of all, as the most bitter enemies 
that he had among all the Citizens; nay, he filled his entire 
country with ten thousand instances of wickedness. 60 

I also noticed that in describing the Sicarii, Josephus stated that 
their group was "too small for an army, and too many for a gang of 
thieves." There is a word that describes just such a number of fight- 
ing men — a legion. 61 "Legion" being the word that the demons from 
the New Testament passage above used to describe themselves. 

In Josephus' story of Gadara this Legion then 



64 Caesar's Messiah 

ran together to a certain village, which was called Bethen- 
nabris, where finding a great multitude of young men, 
[armed] them, partly by their own consent, partly by force . . . 

Thus, this legion of Sicarii "infected" a great number, parallel- 
ing the demons' infection of the swine in the New Testament. The 
infected group is then confronted by the Romans and runs about 
"like the wildest of wild beasts," which parallels the herd of swine in 
the New Testament passage who "ran violently." 

Both the New Testament and Josephus conclude their Gadara 
stories with a mass drowning and a description of a group that num- 
bered "about two thousand." In the New Testament, as I have stated, 
the author does not tell us what happened to the demons that 
infected the swine. He does, however, tell us the number of swine 
that drowned, "(about two thousand)." In the Gadara passage in War 
of the Jews Josephus tells us the number of prisoners taken captive: 
"There were besides two thousand and two hundred taken prison- 
ers." Josephus also informs us that, "A mighty prey was taken also, 
consisting of asses, and sheep, and camels, and oxen." Notice that 
there were no swine taken. 

I questioned whether the similarities between the two passages 
were the result of random chance. Many concepts could be seen as 
parallel — "one head" that contained great evil, a "Legion," this legion 
infecting another group, the combined group running "wildly," the 
drowning of the infected group, a group that numbered "about two 
thousand," the "missing" swine, and, of course, the location of 
Gadara. However, if the parallels between the two passages had been 
created intentionally, what was their purpose? 

As I studied the New Testament passage further I became aware 
that there were many unanswered questions within it. Why do the 
demons wish to enter the swine? Why do the swine then rush into 
the sea? What becomes of the demons? Why do the demons ask 
Jesus if he is there to torment them "before the time"? Why does the 
possessed man cut himself with stones? 

As I believed that Josephus' "Son of Mary whose flesh is eaten" 
passage was a satire of the New Testament's symbolic Passover lamb, 
I attempted to determine whether one of the passages concerning 
Gadara might be a satire of the other. I soon realized that it is possi- 



The Demons of Gadara 65 

ble to read the Gospel stories of the demoniac of Gadara as a satire 
of Josephus' description of the battle of Gadara, and that the two 
passages could possibly be interactive. 

The reason that the New Testament's demoniac of Gadara can be 
seen as a satire on Josephus' "tyrant" John and the battle at Gadara 
is simply because the two stories follow the same plot outline. In other 
words, the characters and events that can be seen as parallel occur 
in the same sequence. And it all occurs near Gadara. The satirical ver- 
sion in the New Testament tells the same story that Josephus does 
but, as is often the case with satire, the characters have different names. 

In the New Testament the characters are the unnamed demo- 
niac, the demons, and the swine that the demons infect. In War of 
the Jews the characters are the rebel leader John, the Sicarii, and the 
group that the Sicarii conscripts. If the New Testament's Gadara pas- 
sage is a satire of Josephus' description of the battle, the demon-pos- 
sessed man in the New Testament from whom the "legion" sprang 
would be a satire of John, the rebel leader from whose "one head" 
the wickedness came forth. Following this logic, the legion of 
demons that sprang from one individual in the New Testament 
would lampoon the Sicarii in War of the Jews, who are described as 
"too small for an army, and too many for a gang of thieves," and the 
"swine" in the New Testament would satirize the group that the 
Sicarii "infected" in Josephus' passage. 

The premise that the characters in the two tales concerning 
Gadara are meant to be understood as the same individuals but with 
different names also seems to answer my question about whether 
the two thousand demons drowned with the swine they infected. 
The demons who infected the swine in the New Testament must be 
a satirical representation of the 2,200 Sicarii who escaped drowning 
and were captured alive at Gadara. 

Josephus appears to complete this comical interaction with the 
New Testament by pointing out that while many different animals 
were captured, none were swine: "A mighty prey was taken also, 
consisting of asses, and sheep, and camels, and oxen." Why were no 
swine captured? Because in the New Testament's story of Gadara the 
swine had drowned and therefore could not be captured in the par- 
allel passage in War of the Jews. 



66 Caesar's Messiah 

While the structure of this satire is more complex than the oth- 
ers I have shown, the humor itself is very straightforward. It simply 
denigrates the Sicarii as demons and unclean spirits, and the people 
they recruited as swine. No doubt this was the way the Flavian fam- 
ily felt about the rebels. 

Many of Jesus' prophecies have been long understood to foresee 
events from the war between the Romans and the Jews. It is there- 
fore strange that the relationship between the two passages has not 
been noticed before, the Gospels' Gadara story being a "prophecy" 
of an event from the war that Josephus recorded as having "come to 
pass." This oversight is particularly odd in light of the fact that the 
Gospels' Gadara story is, in and of itself, incoherent. Within the con- 
text of the New Testament there is no theological or moral principle 
that can be gleaned from the story of a legion of demons that enter 
a herd of swine that then run wildly into the river and drown. How- 
ever, when it is viewed as a satire of Josephus' description of the bat- 
tle of Gadara, the New Testament passage makes perfect sense. 

Another seemingly incoherent aspect of Jesus' encounter with 
the demoniac that this interpretation makes clear occurs in the ver- 
sion of the story found in Matthew. Wherein, upon seeing Jesus, the 
demon-possessed men cry out, "What have we to do with you, Jesus, 
you Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the 
time?" 62 The question the demons are asking is unanswerable within 
the literal context of the passage. What "time" are they referring to? 
However, this question is answered by the interpretation I offer. If the 
demons are lampoons of the leaders of the Jewish rebellion, the time 
of their torment is clear. They are prophesying the torment experi- 
enced by John and Simon at the end of their war against the Romans. 

Further, if the New Testament's passage is a satire of the battle 
of Gadara, notice that it is a specific satire of Josephus' passage and 
not of some tradition regarding the battle that Josephus might have 
shared with the authors of the New Testament. For example, the 
demoniac referring to himself as "Legion" only makes satirical sense 
as a comic parallel to Josephus' unique description of the rebel band 
as being "too small for an army, and too many for a gang of thieves." 
This is an important point in that it indicates that parts of the New 



The Demons of Gadara 67 

Testament and War of the Jews were designed to be read interactively, 
or intertextually. 

Josephus' description of the manner in which John had spread 
his "infection" is similar to Jesus' description of the "unclean spir- 
its" who left one man and infected many others. 

"Now as it is in a human body, if the principal part be inflamed, 
all the members are subject to the same distemper." 

This similarity is especially clear when one considers that in 
first-century Judea "demons" were considered to be responsible for 
fevers and other illnesses. The Dead Sea Scrolls actually describe a 
"fever demon." 63 When Josephus uses "infection" as an analogy for 
the Sicarii's activity he is practically likening them to demons. 

I therefore decided to review the New Testament and War of the 
Jews for examples to support the premise that the New Testament 
lampoons the Sicarii as "demons." During this analysis it became 
clear that Jesus and Josephus each referred to the same "wicked gen- 
eration," the generation that crucified Christ and then rebelled 
against Rome, as having been infected by "demons." 

In the following passage, for example, Jesus specifically foresees 
that "unclean spirits," or demons, would possess this "wicked gen- 
eration." Notice that Jesus makes the point that one "unclean spirit" 
can infect many, which parallels Josephus' description of the wicked- 
ness passing from "one head" to many. Jesus also states that the 
unclean spirits pass through "waterless places." Which can be seen 
as a satirical way of stating that demons cannot pass through water, 
thereby linking the passage to what puzzled me regarding the fate of 
the two thousand demons. The idea that demons are unable to pass 
through water runs through both the New Testament and the works 
of Josephus. 

When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes 
through waterless places seeking rest, but he finds none. 

Then he says, "I will return to my house from which I 
came." And when he comes he finds it empty, swept, and 
put in order. 

Then he goes and brings with him seven other spirits 
more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and 



68 Caesar's Messiah 

the last state of that man becomes worse than the first. So 
shall it be also with this evil generation. 64 

Jesus' linking of the "evil generation" to demonically possessed 
men who infected others mirrors my interpretation of the New Tes- 
tament's Gadara passage, wherein 1 concluded that the "Sicarii" were 
demons who infected others with their "wickedness." When Jesus 
referred to a "wicked generation" he appears to have been referring 
to the Sicarii, who rebelled against Rome. This proposition is espe- 
cially clear in light of the fact that to Jews of this era a "generation" 
was forty years, which was the exact time span between Jesus' res- 
urrection and the final destruction of the Sicarii at Masada. 

The understanding that a "generation" lasted forty years comes 
from the Pentateuch. 

And the Lord's anger was kindled against Israel, and he 
made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all 
the generation that had done evil in the sight of the Lord 
was consumed. 65 

Many Christians currently hold a different position regarding 
Jesus' doomsday prophecies, believing that they do not refer to the 
generation of Jews that lived during his lifetime. Instead, they 
believe that Jesus was speaking about some unspecified time still in 
the future. I feel that this "futurist" understanding is incorrect and 
has the effect of obfuscating Jesus' words, thereby making it difficult 
to understand the meaning they conveyed in the first century. No 
real understanding of the New Testament is possible without know- 
ing what Jesus meant when he used the word "generation." 

The Greek word in the New Testament that has been translated 
as "generation" is genea. Early in the 20th century some Christian 
scholars began to posit that Jesus' use of this word was meant to 
indicate not the "generation" of Jews alive during his lifetime, but 
rather the entire "race" of Jews, which would not pass away "with- 
out all these things having first taken place." 

It is easy to understand their desire for such a definition. If Jesus 
is referring to those Jews alive during his lifetime then his "Second 
Coming" must have occurred in 70 A.D. Such an understanding 
leaves Christianity in an awkward position. This is because if Jesus' 



The Demons of Gadara 69 

"Second Coming" had occurred during the war between the Romans 
and the Jews, why was it Titus and not Jesus who demolished the 
temple and destroyed the "wicked generation"? 

The Christian theologian C. I. Scofield recognized this dilemma 
and in his Bible reference switched the definition of the word genea 
to that of genos, an entirely different word meaning "race." However, 
scholars showed that the New Testament's use of genea could only 
be referring to the Jews of Jesus' lifetime and not to the entire Jew- 
ish race, thereby debunking Scofield's position. 66 

The understanding that Jesus was specifically referring to the 
generation of Jews alive at the time he spoke the words was certainly 
the understanding held during the Middle Ages. For example, the 
following notes were found written alongside Matthew 24:34 in a 
Bible dated 1599. 

"This age: the word generation or age is here being used for the 
men of this age." 67 We are on solid ground in understanding that 
Jesus was referring solely to the generation of Jews who were alive 
during the 40 years between his ministry and the destruction of 
Jerusalem. However, if this is correct, then Jesus and Josephus were 
referring to the same group as the "wicked generation." Notice in 
the following passages how similar Jesus' and Josephus' understand- 
ing was regarding "demons," the "wicked generation," and the Sicarii. 

From Josephus: 

. . . had the Romans made any longer delay in coming 
against these villains, the city would either have been swal- 
lowed up by the ground opening upon them, or been over- 
flowed by water, or else been destroyed by such thunder as 
the country of Sodom perished by, for it had brought forth a 
generation of men much more atheistical than were those 
that suffered such. 68 

. . . And truly so it happened, that though the slayers 
left off at the evening, yet did the fire greatly prevail in the 
night; and as all was burning, came that eighth day of the 
month Gorpieus [Elul] upon Jerusalem, a city that had been 
liable to so many miseries during this siege, that, had it 
always enjoyed as much happiness from its first foundation, 
it would certainly have been the envy of the world. Nor did 



70 Caesar's Messiah 

it on any other account so much deserve these sore mis- 
fortunes, as by producing such a generation of men as were 
the occasions of this its overthrow. 69 

From the New Testament: 

"Wicked and faithless generation!" He replied, "They 
clamor for a sign, but none shall be given to them except 
the sign of the Prophet Jonah." 

Matt. 12:39.4 

Then he goes and brings back with him seven other spirits 
more wicked than himself, and they come in and dwell 
there; and in the end that man's condition becomes worse 
than it was at first. So will it be also with the present wicked 
generation. 

Matt. 12:45.46 

"0 unbelieving and perverse generation!" replied Jesus; 
"How long shall I be with you? How long shall I endure 
you?" 

Matt. 17:17.5 

I tell you in solemn truth that all these things will come 
upon the present generation. 

Matt. 23:36.16 

I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation will 
certainly not pass away without all these things having first 
taken place. 

Matt. 24:34 

Somehow, the three-way connection between the "wicked gen- 
eration," Jesus' "demons," and Josephus' "Sicarii" has not attracted 
much attention from scholars. For example, the Hebrew scholar 
Joseph Klausner completely missed the connection. He wrote: 

At that time even educated people and those who had 
imbibed of the Greek culture such as Josephus, such nerve 
cases and cases of insanity as cases of "possession" by 
some devil or evil or unclean spirit, and believed in cures 
and that certain men could perform miracles. 70 



The Demons of Gadara 7 1 



In fact, Josephus did not believe that demons were "nerve cases" 
and gave a precise definition as to what they were. He stated that 
demons were the spirits of the wicked. 

Demons . . . are no other than the spirits of the wicked. 71 

This definition indicates that Josephus saw the Sicarii as 
"demons" in that he constantly describes the rebels as "wicked." 
Josephus also links the Sicarii with "demons" in another way. He 
describes the Sicarii as moving "with a demoniacal fury" 72 as they 
went to kill their families at the end of the siege of Masada. Like 
Jesus, Josephus makes it clear who the "wicked" are. They are the 
generation of Jews that rebelled against Rome. 

That neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, 
nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in 
wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world. 73 

Thus, Jesus and Josephus share a narrow understanding and 
express it with the same vocabulary: that the generation of Jews who 
lived between 33 C.E. and 73 C.E. were "wicked" because they had 
been "infected" by a demonic spirit. This shared understanding is 
suspicious. Jesus could only view the "wickedness" of this genera- 
tion by looking into the future, and yet he not only held the same 
opinion of the generation as Josephus, he used the same words in 
describing it. 

Returning to the version of the story of the demoniac of Gadara 
found in Matthew, where Jesus meets two demons, in War of the Jews 
we learn that were two "tyrants" or leaders of the Jewish rebellion, 
John, described above, and a Simon. Since my analysis suggests that 
the New Testament is satirizing John in the version that describes a 
single demon of Gadara, it seemed logical to ask whether the version 
describing two demoniacs was satirizing both leaders of the Jewish 
rebellion, John and Simon. 

Experimenting with this premise I noticed that at the conclu- 
sion of the siege of Jerusalem in War of the Jews Simon and John both 
take refuge in subterranean caverns beneath Jerusalem. Eventually 
they are forced by starvation to come out of these "tombs" and sur- 



72 Caesar's Messiah 

render to the Romans. This event struck me as a parallel to the 
description of the demon-possessed men "coming out of the tombs" 
in the New Testament. 

The passage in War of the Jews that describes these caverns con- 
firms that they are indeed "tombs." 

The Romans slew some of them, some they carried cap- 
tives, and others they made a search for under ground, and 
when they found where they were, they broke up the ground 
and slew all they met with. There were also found slain 
there above two thousand persons, partly by their own 
hands, and partly by one another, but chiefly destroyed by 
the famine; but then the ill savor of the dead bodies was 
most offensive to those that lighted upon them, insomuch 
that some were obliged to get away immediately . . . 74 

As I have mentioned, the demon-possessed man at Gadara is 
described as "cutting himself with stones." 75 Cutting oneself with 
"stones" is, of course, unusual — a stone is not a tool someone would 
normally use to cut with. What is the author of this passage actually 
referring to? 1 realized that if the demoniacs of Gadara are intended 
to satirize the rebel leaders, then there was a comic answer to this 
question. 

The phrase in the New Testament where the demoniac is "in the 
tombs . . . cutting himself with stones" shares a comic relationship 
with the passage in War of the Jews that describes the "tombs" that 
John and Simon take refuge in. The joke comes from the unan- 
swered question in Mark 5:5. This question being, what does one 
call someone who cuts himself with stones? In a passage in War of 
the Jews relating to the rebel leader's hiding in the "tombs" we learn 
the absurdly obvious answer. Someone who cuts himself with stones 
is, of course, called a "stonecutter." 

This Simon, during the siege of Jerusalem, was in the 
upper city; but when the Roman army was gotten within the 
walls, and were laying the city waste, he then took the most 
faithful of his friends with him, and among them some that 
were stonecutters, with those iron tools which belonged to 
their occupation. 76 



The Demons of Gadara 73 

The version of the Gadara encounter in Matthew does not 
describe the fate of either of its two demon-possessed men. How- 
ever, if the demoniacs were spoofs of the leaders of the Jewish rebel- 
lion, then the version in Mark, which describes only one possessed 
man, must tell the fate of John. 

I reached this conclusion because the passage concludes with 
the statement "Him that was possessed with the devil, and had the 
legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind, and began to pub- 
lish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him." 77 

If the New Testament was lampooning Simon and John, the 
leaders of the Jewish rebellion, then the individual who was restored 
to his "right mind" and who went to Decapolis could only have been 
John. This is because Josephus records that, after being captured, 
John was given life imprisonment while Simon was taken to Rome 
and executed. Following this logic, it could only have been John, 
then, who "began to publish in Decapolis." 

So my musings raised the question of whether John the Zealot, 
leader of the Jewish rebellion, had assisted the Romans in creating 
Christian literature while he was imprisoned in Decapolis. And fur- 
ther, I wondered exactly what literature this individual could have 
helped the Romans create? The only known Christian literature 
from this era is the New Testament itself. There was, of course, 
someone named "John" who wrote a Gospel. 

While the premise that the Apostle John was a lampoon of the 
John who was the leader of the rebellion was based at this point in 
my analysis as much on imagination as evidence, it was consistent 
with the style of black humor I felt was in play within the passages 
analyzed previously. Of course, if the Apostle John is a lampoon of 
the rebel John, then it would follow that the Apostle Simon is also a 
lampoon of the other rebel leader, Simon. 

Since my analysis of the New Testament's Gadara passages sug- 
gest that the Sicarii were lampooned as demons in the New Testa- 
ment, I first attempted to determine if there were other New Testa- 
ment passages concerning demons that might support the 
proposition regarding the relationship between rebel leaders John 
and Simon and the two Apostles. During this search I noticed the 



74 Caesar's Messiah 

following passage from the Gospel of John, which states that the 
Apostle Judas was the "son of Simon the Iscariot." 

"Did not I choose you — the Twelve?" said Jesus, "and even 
of you one is a devil." 

He alluded to Judas, the son of Simon the Iscariot. For 
he it was who, though one of the Twelve, was afterwards to 
betray Him. 

John 6:70-71 

Scholars have commented on the possibility that "Iscariot," the 
last name of Judas, is somehow related to "Sicarii," the word Jose- 
phus uses to describe the messianic rebels. As Robert Eisenman 
notes, the only difference between the two Greek words the switch- 
ing of the iota, or "I," with the sigma, or "s." I concur, and will show 
below that it is simply one of the many puns that the author(s) of 
Josephus and the New Testament use in challenging the reader to 
discover that the two works describe the same characters. 

I determined that the following passage from the Gospel of 
Matthew could be read as a satire on John, the leader of the rebellion, 
as well as on the "wicked generation." Notice that "John" is accused 
of having a demon because he is not eating and drinking, which cer- 
tainly can be likened to the rebel John's situation in the subterranean 
caverns. 

John is shown as a mirror opposite of the "Son of Man," who is 
eating and drinking and is "the friend of tax gatherers," and who 
will "upbraid towns" "because they had not repented" — this descrip- 
tion of Jesus having a clear parallel in Titus' activities in Judea. 
Therefore, if the passage has the satirical meaning I suspected, then 
the "John" described within the passage is meant to be understood 
as John, the leader of the rebellion, and Jesus' prophecy is actually 
envisioning Titus' campaign through Judea. 

But to what shall I compare the present generation? It is 
like children sitting in the open places, who call to their 
playmates. "We have played the flute to you," they say, "and 
you have not danced: we have sung dirges, and you have not 
beaten your breasts." 



The Demons of Gadara 75 

For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they 
say, "He has a demon." 

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they 
exclaim, "See this man! — given to gluttony and tippling, and 
a friend of tax-gatherers and notorious sinners!" And yet 
Wisdom is vindicated by her actions. 

Then began He to upbraid the towns where most of His 
mighty works had been done — because they had not 
repented. 

Matt. 11:16-20 

My analysis of the New Testament story of the demons of Gadara 
suggests that the "subterranean caverns" the Jewish rebels fled into 
at the end of the siege of Jerusalem were satirized as "tombs" within 
the New Testament. The following passage from the Gospel of John 
appeared to me to be using this theme. However, notice that if this 
interpretation is correct, then in the passage Jesus is actually com- 
paring himself to Titus, in that Titus is the individual sent by "god," 
that is, his father Vespasian, to hand out "life," or "judgment," to the 
Jews hidden in "tombs," that is, the caverns beneath Jerusalem. I 
shall return to this point below. 

This interpretation also indicates a different origin for the 
Christian concept of "resurrection" than that traditionally held. It is 
not based only on the Pharisaic belief that God will return the dead 
to life, but rather is a satire on the raising of the dead, that is, those 
Jews found buried within the tombs under Jerusalem at the end of 
the siege. If this is correct, it is another example of the theme of 
Jesus seemingly speaking symbolically but Josephus' history show- 
ing a comicly literal meaning to his words. 

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the 
Son also to have life in himself, 

and has given him authority to execute judgment, 
because he is the Son of Man. 

Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all 
who are in the tombs will hear his voice 

and come forth, those who have done good, to the res- 
urrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the res- 



76 Caesar's Messiah 

urrection of judgment. I can do nothing on my own author- 
ity; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I 
seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 

John 5;26-30 

While these interpretations of the passages above are logical, 
they do not, in and of themselves, provide direct support for the 
contention that the Apostles John and Simon were satires of the 
leaders of the Jewish rebellion. Further analysis of the New Testa- 
ment produced more examples of this kind but nothing that pro- 
vided the clarity 1 sought. Finally, I realized what had been staring 
me in the face the entire time. There is a passage within the New 
Testament that provides extraordinary support for the premise that 
the Apostles Simon and John were lampoons of the Jewish rebel 
leaders Simon and John. 

The Gospel of John concludes with a discussion between Simon 
(Peter) and Jesus. Jesus foresees that Simon will be bound and car- 
ried "where you do not wish to go." Jesus also tells Simon that he 
will have a martyr's death, "to glorify God." In the midst of this dis- 
cussion, "the disciple that Jesus loved," clearly meaning the Apostle 
John, appears. Simon asks Jesus what the fate of John is to be. Jesus 
replies, "It is my will that he remain." The passage then points out 
that John "is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and 
who has written these things" referring to the Gospel of John itself. 

Below is the entire passage. Notice how the author goes to great 
lengths to avoid calling the Apostles by their real names, Simon and 
John. 

Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded 
yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, 
you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you 
and carry you where you do not wish to go." 

(This he said to show by what death he was to glorify 
God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me." 

Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom 
Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper 
and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?' 

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what 
about this man?' 



The Demons of Gadara 77 

Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I 
come, what is that to you? Follow me!" 

The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this 
disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he 
was not to die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I 
come, what is that to you?" 

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these 
things, and who has written these things; and we know that 
his testimony is true. 

John 21:1 8-24 

This passage, which is the conclusion to Jesus' ministry, is 
exactly parallel to Titus' judgments concerning the rebel leaders 
Simon and John at the conclusion of his campaign through Judea. 

Thus, at the conclusion of the Gospel above, Jesus tells Simon 
"when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will 
gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go." Jesus tells 
Simon to "follow me" and that his death will "glorify God." How- 
ever, Jesus also states that it is his will that John is to "remain." 

At the conclusion of his campaign through Judea, Titus, after 
capturing "Simon," girds him in "bonds" and sends him "where you 
do not wish to go," this being Rome. During the parade of conquest 
at Rome, Simon follows, that is, is "led" to a "death, to glorify God," 
the god "glorified" being Titus' father, the diuus Vespasian. However, 
it is Titus' will to spare the other leader of the rebellion, John. 

Notice that in the following passage Josephus records Simon's 
fate before John's, just as it occurs in John 21. A seemingly innocu- 
ous detail but one that I will show has great significance. 

Simon . . . was forced to surrender himself, as we shall 
relate hereafter; so he was reserved for the triumph, and to 
be then slain; as was John condemned to perpetual impris- 
onment. 78 

Josephus also records that Jesus' vision of Simon "following" 
also comes to pass for the rebel leader Simon. 

Simon ... had then been led in this triumph among the cap- 
tives; a rope had also been put upon his head, and he had 
been drawn into a proper place in the forum. 79 



78 Caesar's Messiah 

In the passage from the Gospel of John above, notice that the 
author does not call the Apostle John by his name but rather as "the 
disciple whom Jesus loved," and as the individual who had said at 
the Last Supper, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?" Later 
in the chapter the author identifies this disciple with yet another 
epithet when he states, "This is the disciple who testifies of these 
things, and wrote these things" — even here not referring to John by 
name but requiring the reader to determine it by knowing the name 
of the author of the Gospel. The author's use of epithets here, 
instead of simply referring to the disciple as "John," seems clearly an 
attempt to keep the parallel conclusion of Jesus' and Titus' "min- 
istries" from being too easily seen. 80 The author also has Jesus call 
Simon by his nickname, "Peter," for the same reason. 

The same technique is used throughout the New Testament and 
War of the Jews. To learn the name of an unnamed character, the 
reader must be able to recall details from another, related passage. In 
effect, the New Testament is designed as a sort of an intelligence test 
whose true meaning can be understood only by those possessing 
sufficient memory, logic, and humor. 

For clarification, I present the following table showing the par- 
allels between the ends of Jesus' ministry and Titus' campaign: 

1) Characters are named Simon and John 

2) Both sets of characters are judged 

3) Both sides of the parallel occur at the conclusion of a "cam- 
paign" 

4) In each, Simon goes to a martyr's death after being placed in 
bonds and taken someplace he does not wish to go 

5) In each, John is spared 

6) In each, Simon "follows" 

Further, the two events continue the theme of a prophecy made 
in one work being fulfilled in the other. In other words, what Jesus 
predicts, Josephus records as having "come to pass." 

This group of parallels seems too complex to have occurred by 
chance and provides direct support for my premise that the Apos- 
tles Simon and John were lampoons of the leaders of the Jewish 
rebellion, as well as my suspicion that the "Son of Man," whose 



The Demons of Gadara 79 

coming the New Testament predicts will bring destruction to 
Jerusalem, is Titus. 

I then realized the larger implications of what I had discovered. 
The reader will recall the parallel beginnings to the "ministries" of 
Titus and Jesus; that is, both were "followed" by "fishers of men." 
The conclusions of Titus' and Jesus' stints in Judea are also concep- 
tually parallel. When I looked at the relative placements of the 
Gadara and the "son of Mary whose flesh was eaten" parallels, I 
found that those too occurred in the same sequence. 

Thus, the New Testament satires of events from War of the Jews 
were not haphazardly sequenced, as I had originally assumed, but 
were put in the same sequence as the events they satirized. In other 
words, the entire outline of Jesus' ministry, as recorded within the 
New Testament, was designed to prophecy Titus' campaign through 
Judea. 

For clarification, I present the following table of parallels in 
sequence shown thus far: 



TABLE OF PARALLELS IN SEQUENCE 
JESUS' MINISTRY TITUS' CAMPAIGN 



Jesus begins ministry at 

Gennesareth and says "Follow me" 
and become fishers of men 


Titus begins campaign at 

Gennesareth where his soldiers 
"follow" him and fish for men 


At Gadara, encounters a legion 
inside of one man that infects a 
group that in turn infects another 
group 


Describes "one head" whose 
"wickedness" unleashes a legion of 
"demons" that infects another 
group that runs wildly 


"Swine" run wildly and 2,000 
drown 


At Gadara, 2,000 of the "demons" 
do not drown 


At Jerusalem, the "Son of Mary" 
offers his flesh to be eaten 


At Jerusalem, describes a son of 
Mary whose flesh is eaten 


Jesus foresees a martyr's death for 
Simon at Rome but spares John at 
conclusion of ministry 


Titus sends Simon to a martyr's 
death at Rome but spares John at 
conclusion of campaign 



80 Caesar's Messiah 

The New Testament passages concerning "fishing for men," a 
"legion" of demons coming out of one man to infect many, a human 
Passover lamb, and a conclusion where Simon is condemned and 
John spared can be seen as satirizing very few works of literature. It 
is, therefore, quite implausible that the New Testament describes, by 
chance, so many episodes that can be seen as satirizing the events in 
a single book. 

Moreover, while it is possible to argue that each New Testament 
episode that appears to satirize an event in War of the Jews does so 
accidentally, if that were the case then these accidents would occur 
in a random sequence and at random locations. It was not required 
that Jesus use the expression "fishers of men" while standing on the 
beach at Gennesareth, any more than it was required that he meet 
the demoniac at Gadara. Nor was it necessary for him to offer his 
flesh at Jerusalem, or to condemn Simon but spare John at the con- 
clusion of his ministry. The fact that these four events occur in the 
New Testament in the same sequence and at the same location as 
their parallel events in War of the Jews strongly supports the con- 
tention that one work was created with the other in mind. Two four- 
sided dice, for example, will each land with the same side up four 
times in a row only once in two hundred and fifty-six throws. 

Therefore, the parallel sequences, concepts, and locations make 
the authors' intent clear. In the same way that they show the first 
savior of Israel, Moses, to have been the "type" of Jesus, the second 
savior of Israel, through their parallel infancy experiences, they also 
"prove" that Titus is the last and greatest "savior" because Jesus' 
ministry is the "type" of Titus' campaign through Judea. 

Finally, the parallel sequences of Jesus' and Titus' "ministries" 
must be considered in the context of their historical overlaps. As I 
noted above, Jesus predicted that a "Son of God" would come to 
Judea before the generation that crucified him had passed away, then 
encircle Jerusalem with a wall and destroy the temple. Titus is the 
only individual in history who can be seen as having fulfilled these 
prophecies. 

Such a combination of historical singularities could not occur by 
chance. This is self-evident. Therefore, the only plausible explana- 



The Demons of Gadara 8 1 

tion for the similar story lines is that these parts of Jesus' ministry 
were deliberately created to parallel Titus' campaign through Judea. 

History has shown, of course, that the comic aspect of the par- 
allels between the two "Sons of God" are not easy to see. Within the 
Flavian court, however, where "foreign cults in Rome" were care- 
fully scrutinized and knowledge of Titus' exploits was common, 
those responsible for overseeing the Empire's religions would have 
recognized the satirical parallels between Jesus and Titus and seen 
them as humorous. 

The purpose of these parallels, moreover, was not merely to cre- 
ate an amusing satire for patricians. I will show in the following 
chapter that the authors of the New Testament use parallelism to 
create a story entirely different from the one that appears on its sur- 
face — a story that reveals the hidden identity of the "Jesus" who 
interacts with the disciples at the conclusion of the Gospels. 

Moreover, understanding that Jesus' ministry shares a parallel 
story line and characters with Titus' campaign creates a way to 
understand a lot about the New Testament. Simply moving the 
events of Jesus' ministry forward forty years in time and comparing 
them to the events of Titus' campaign reveals their satirical meaning. 
For example, whoever put Jesus' prophecy about the fate of Simon 
and John at the conclusion of the Gospel of John did so solely to 
have the conclusion of the Gospels comically mirror the end of Titus' 
campaign. The discussion between Jesus and Simon could have 
occurred at any time during Jesus' ministry or been recorded in any 
of the other Gospels, or not been included at all, since it contains no 
important theological ideas. 

This method also reveals the satirical basis for Simon's nick- 
name, Peter, which in Greek is Petros, meaning "rock" or "stone." It 
is a joke relating to Josephus' description of the circumstance of the 
real Simon's capture. 

As stated above, in trying to escape Roman-occupied Jerusalem, 
Simon fled into a subterranean cavern with a group of stonecutters 
and attempted to dig an escape passage. Unable to carve through 
rock and out of food, he was forced to surrender. He did so in an 
extraordinary fashion. Josephus writes: 



82 Caesar's Messiah 

Simon, thinking he might be able to astonish and elude the 
Romans, put on a white frock, and buttoned upon him a 
purple cloak, and appeared out of the ground in the place 
where the temple had formerly been. 81 

The humor is subtle. In the comic logic of the New Testament's 
Simon's epithet, "stone" satirizes Josephus' depiction of Simon being 
captured with a group of stonecutters, who, of course, cut "stone." 
As he came "out of the ground in the place where the temple had 
formerly been" he was, therefore, the first "stone" upon which the 
new "temple," Christianity, was to be built. Once again, though 
Jesus appears to have spoken metaphorically when he tells Simon 
that he is the "stone" upon which he will build a new church that 
will replace Judaism, Josephus records an event showing another, 
comic, meaning to Jesus' words. 

And I declare to you that you are Peter, and that upon this 
Stone I will build my Church . . . 

Matt. 16:18.14 

The depiction of Simon coming out of a cavern that is a "tomb" 
and contains a group of stonecutters also provides satirical confir- 
mation of the premise that Simon the Apostle and the demoniac of 
Gadara were both lampoons of Simon the leader of the Jewish rebel- 
lion. This is because the humor regarding "stonecutters" creates a 
parallel between the demoniac of Gadara and the rebel leader Simon. 
And since the passages are parallel, the unnamed character in one 
would have the same name as his named "type" in the other; in this 
case "Simon" is the name of one of the demoniacs of Gadara. 

Understanding this simple point of logic enables a reader to 
learn the names of many the unnamed characters in the New Testa- 
ment and War of the Jews, and the real identity of Jesus. I will also 
show that far from being unusual, the use of intertextual parallels to 
exchange information between passages was commonplace in the 
Judaic literature of this era. 

The New Testament's comic theme regarding "rock" and "stone" 
appears to be satire on a well-known metaphorical theme found 
throughout the Dead Sea Scrolls, that of the "foundation of rock." In 
the following example from the Thanksgiving Hymn, notice that the 



The Demons of Gadara 83 

author sees himself, like the rebel leader Simon, as entering a "forti- 
fied city" and "seeks refuge behind a high wall." 

But I shall be as one who enters a fortified city, 

As one who seeks refuge behind a high wall 

Until deliverance [comes]; 

I will (lean on) Thy truth; O my God. 

For Thou wilt set the foundation on rock 

And the frameworks by the measuring cord of justice; 

And the tried stones {Thou will lay} 82 

The comic logic that links the New Testament to War of the Jews 
also makes clear the basis for the epithet of the Apostle John, which is 
"the disciple whom Jesus loved." John was the "loved disciple" be- 
cause he was the captive leader whom Titus spared. Further, the real 
meaning of Jesus' criticism of his disciples — for example, his describ- 
ing the Apostles "Simon" and "John" as having demons — is now also 
apparent. Having maliciously satirized the leaders of the messianic 
movement as Jesus' Apostles, the Roman authors of the New Testa- 
ment then "record" Jesus lecturing his Apostles on their wickedness. 

In the Gospel of Luke there is a passage that warns Simon of his 
being possessed by "Satan" and reiterates the concept that Simon is 
going to prison and to death "with" Jesus. It also repeats the theme 
of the demoniac of Gadara (Simon), who returns to his true self after 
Satan has been repelled. It is another example of Jesus making state- 
ments that seem metaphoric but have literal and comic meaning 
when read in conjunction with War of the Jews. "Simon" did indeed 
go with his "master" to prison and death, his "master" being Titus. 
Though in the past the following passage has mystified scholars, its 
meaning is now clear. 

"Simon, Simon, I tell you that Satan has obtained permis- 
sion to have all of you to sift as wheat is sifted. 

"But T have prayed for 'you' that your faith may not fail, 
and you, when at last you have come back to your true self, 
must strengthen your brethren." 

"Master," replied Peter, "with you I am ready to go both 
to prison and to death." 

Luke 22:33 



84 Caesar's Messiah 

Continuing this comic theme in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus actu- 
ally calls the Apostle Simon "Satan." His strange remark about the 
founder of his church is rendered coherent when one understands 
that Jesus is referring, in the Roman context, to the rebel Simon. The 
reader will note that the mysteriousness of many of Jesus' sayings 
disappears when they are understood within the context 1 suggest. 
In the passage, Jesus repeats the command to Simon that he gives at 
the conclusion of the Gospel of John above. That is, to "follow me" 
with a cross to your doom. 

And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God 
forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you." 

But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, 
Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the 
side of God, but of men." 

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come 
after me, let him deny himself and take up my cross and 
follow me. 

"For whoever would save his life will lose it, and who- 
ever loses his life for my sake will find it." 

Matt. 16:21-25 

In the passage above, from Matthew, notice that Jesus tells his 
disciples to "take up his cross" and follow. In the passage below, 
from Luke, we learn that, in fact, "Simon," called a "Cyrenaean," did 
indeed "take up his cross" and "follow" Jesus. Notice how deliber- 
ately the author conveys the idea that a "Simon" "followed" Jesus 
with a cross. 

As soon as they led Him away, they laid hold on one Simon, 
a Cyrenaean, who was coming in from the country, and on 
his shoulders they put the cross, for him to carry it behind 
Jesus. 

Luke 23:26 

The structure of the comedy involved in Simon's "following 
with a cross" is familiar. If one interprets Jesus' words metaphori- 
cally they can be seen to have a spiritual meaning, but if interpreted 
literally they are black comedy. 



The Demons of Gadara 85 

The Apostle Paul is also engaged in the lampooning of Simon's 
execution. 

But when Cephas [Simon] came to Antioch I opposed him to 
his face, because he stood condemned. 

Gal 2:11 

The strange tale of Simon's three denials of Jesus is also part of 
the sequence of events shared by the New Testament and War of the 
Jews. The tale is one of the most famous stories in the New Testa- 
ment and is found in all four Gospels. 

The maid who kept the door said to Peter, "Are not you also 
one of this man's disciples?" He said, "I am not." 

Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. 
They said to him, "Are not you also one of his disciples?" He 
denied it and said, "I am not." 

One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman of the 
man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, "Did I not see you 
in the garden with him?" 

Peter again denied it; and at once the cock crowed. 

John 18:25-27 

When I had determined that the Apostle Simon was a lampoon 
of Simon the leader of the Jewish rebels, and that there was a paral- 
lel sequence of events in War of the Jews and the New Testament, I 
was curious to determine if War of the Jews contained a parallel to the 
New Testament story describing Simon's three denials of Jesus. In fact, 
just scanning War of the Jews where Simon's "denials" would have 
occurred, that is, immediately following the capture on the Mount 
of Olives, reveals a passage in which Titus states that three times he 
has exhorted Simon to "peace" and three times he had been denied. 

This bridge it was that lay between the tyrants and Caesar, 
and parted them; while the multitude stood on each side; 
those of the Jewish nation about Simon and John, with 
great hopes of pardon; and the Romans about Caesar, in 
great expectation how Titus would receive their supplica- 
tion . . . Titus said . . . 



86 Caesar's Messiah 

"I exhorted you to leave off these proceedings before I 
began this war. . . 

"After every victory I persuaded you to peace . . . 

"I will not imitate your madness. If you throw down your 
arms, and deliver up your bodies to me, I grant you your 
lives; and I will act like a mild master of a family; what can- 
not be healed shall be punished, and the rest I will preserve 
for my own use." 

To this offer of Titus they made this reply — That they 
could not accept of it. 83 

In the New Testament Simon denies three times that he is a "fol- 
lower" of Jesus. He then returns to his "right mind" and feels 
remorse. This is a comic depiction of the true Simon's three refusals 
to surrender and then his being, as Josephus records, "made sensi- 
ble" once he has been captured by the Romans. 

In the Christian tradition, "Simon the Apostle" suffers a martyr's 
death at Rome. In fact his execution, in the manner and approximate 
year that the Christian tradition maintains, is described by Josephus. 
Simon is not, however, a Christian martyr but a Jewish one. 

In retrospect, it seems hard to understand why, with the excep- 
tion of Robert Eisenman, scholars have not commented on the par- 
allels between the Christian Simon and his Jewish counterpart, be- 
cause they are obvious. Both Simons were leaders of a Judean 
messianic movement engaged in missionary activity who suffered a 
martyr's death at Rome in approximately the same year. How many 
such individuals could there have been? 

The traditional time span given as likely for the Christian Simon's 
death is between July 64 C.E. (the purported date of the outbreak of 
the Neronian persecution) and 68 C.E. The rebel Simon was mar- 
tyred in 70 or 71 C.E. And, as shown above, both can be seen as the 
"cornerstone" of the church that replaces one that is destroyed. Fur- 
ther, both Simons are recorded as having a relationship with the Fla- 
vian family. St. Jerome and Tertullian both refer to the tradition that 
"Simon" ordained Clement, the purported Flavian pope. 

This tradition that the early church scholars refer to is signifi- 
cant in that it not only links the Flavian family to the origin of 
Christianity but, if correct, creates a conundrum for the religion. If 



The Demons of Gadara 87 

Simon did ordain Clement it would suggest that he was not mar- 
tyred by Nero, but later, by the Flavians. However, it is hard to imag- 
ine that Simon would have handed over control of his movement to 
a member of the family that was about to execute him. 

My explanation resolves this paradox. If the rebel Simon and 
the Christian Simon were the same individual, then his being mar- 
tyred by the Flavians and also handing control of the religion over 
to them becomes understandable. The tradition that Simon ordained 
a Flavian as pope and then was executed by that family simply 
reflects the truth. The Flavians executed Simon and then passed 
control over his messianic cult (now "Christianity") to family mem- 
bers. Later Christian scholars attempting to organize the history of 
the religion recognized that such a direct connection to the Flavian 
family was problematic. Therefore, they simply inserted popes 
between Simon and Clement. This led to the two lists of popes, the 
one that the Church officially claims, and the one that Tertullian and 
Jerome knew of, which had the succession go directly from Simon 
to a member of the Flavian family. 

Scholars have puzzled over why Paul always refers to Simon as 
"Cephas," the Aramaic equivalent of Peter. My explanation is that 
the authors of the New Testament determined that to refer to the 
Apostle as "Simon" during the period when the real Simon's life is 
covered in War of the Jews might make the ruse too obvious. Even 
hoi polloi might notice that the two Simons were suspiciously simi- 
lar. The authors of the New Testament therefore changed the Apos- 
tle's from "Simon" to "Simon Peter," then to "Peter," and finally to 
"Cephas" as their narration comes closer to the time when the real 
Simon leads the rebellion. 

The creators of the Roman church had literally used the Sicarii 
leader as the "rock" upon which they "built" the church that would 
worship their pacifistic, tax -paying Messiah. By appropriating the 
real Simon's name and position of authority, they were able to "graft" 
the Apostle Simon onto the history of Christianity. 

The New Testament has numerous Simons: 

1) Simon the Apostle 

2) Simon called Zelotes or the Kanaites 

3) Simon, the father of Judas, who betrayed Jesus 



88 Caesar's Messiah 

4) Simon Magus, the Samaritan wizard 

5) Simon the tanner, Acts 10 

6) Simon the Pharisee, Luke 7:40-44 

7) Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross of Christ 

8) Simon, the brother of Jesus, the son of Cleophas 

9) Simon the leper 

10) Simon Peter 

The idea that the New Testament obfuscates the similarities 
between the Apostle Simon and Simon, the leader of the Jewish 
rebellion, by constantly changing the Apostle's name suggested to 
me that all the "Simons" in the New Testament might be lampoons 
of the Jewish leader. Supporting this conjecture was the fact that 
while Jesus gave instructions to "Simon the Apostle" to "follow him" 
with a cross, it was "Simon the Cyrene" who carried out the 
prophecy, indicating that these two "Simons" were lampoons of the 
same individual. Further, it seemed clear that the Simon who was 
the father of Judas the "Iscariot," was also a lampoon of the rebel 
Simon who was likely to have been a Sicarii. Simon the "Zealot" also 
seems a likely epithet for Simon the leader of the Jewish "Zealots" in 
the war against Rome. 

The idea that the "Simons" within the New Testament were cre- 
ated as a unified comic theme sheds light on a parallel phenomenon 
within the New Testament, that of the many "Marys." "Mary," like 
"Simon," is the name of numerous characters within the New Testa- 
ment. In fact, it is the name of every female character central to 
Jesus' ministry: 

1) Mary, the mother of Jesus 

2) Mary Magdalene 

3) Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha of Bethany 

4) Mary of Cleophas, the mother of James the less 

5) Mary, the mother of John Mark, a sister of Barnabas 

6) Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary of Bethany 

Martha, Lazarus' sister, is on this list because Martha is the Ara- 
maic approximation of the Hebrew name Mary. The names both 
stem from the word for rebellion. Martha is Aramaic for "she was 
rebellious" and Mary is Hebrew for "their rebellion." 84 



The Demons of Gadara 89 

There is no known Hebrew tradition of giving sisters the same 
name. The fact that the New Testament records that a family so cen- 
tral to Christianity's origin had chosen to do so suggests to me that 
all the characters named Mary in the Gospels might, as I suspect of 
all the Simons, be lampoons. A passage in the Gospel of John that 
states that Mary the mother of Jesus also had a sister named Mary 
supports this premise. 

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and 
His mother's sister Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary 
Magdalene. 

John 19:25 

It is quite improbable that the two families most central to Jesus' 
ministry would have each had, by chance, two sisters named Mary. 
Many scholars have commented on the dubiousness of Mary's sister 
being named Mary. For example Eisenman wrote, 

Mary did not have a sister Mary. This confusion was based 
on either separate and conflicting descriptions of Mary 
before the redaction of these traditions or simply a gram- 
matical error in the Greek. 

Eisenman is correct in stating that Mary did not have a sister 
with the same name, but there is a better explanation for the many 
Marys than "grammatical error." 

All the Marys in the New Testament, together with the sole 
Mary in War of the Jews, the mother who ate her son's flesh, are part 
of a comic theme like that created by the various Simons. Given that 
the name Mary stems from the word "rebellion," I believe that these 
lampoons were not based on a historical individual but on an arche- 
type. In other words, all the female members of the militant mes- 
sianic movement the Sicarii would have been known as Marys to the 
Romans, because they were all "rebellious." This insight is impor- 
tant in understanding Mary Magdalene's key role in the New Testa- 
ment's satire on the resurrection of Jesus. 

That the sole Mary in War of the Jews would have such a con- 
nection to the New Testament, a work in which all of the central 
females are also named Mary, is unlikely to have been circumstantial. 



90 Caesar's Messiah 

I would conjecture that during the war "Mary" became a Roman 
nickname for female rebels in much the same manner that enemy 
soldiers have been referred to by a single name during the modern 
era. For example, Americans soldiers called their enemy "Charley" 
during the Vietnam War and "Kraut" during World War II. One can 
imagine a Roman centurion ordering all the "Marys" to be separated 
from the men following the capture of a group of Jewish rebels. This 
theme may have then been continued by the authors of the New Tes- 
tament to comically make the point that all the female followers of 
the Messiah were rebellious. 

In any event, it is clear that to a reader within the Flavian court 
the New Testament's naming of all of the female followers of the 
Messiah Mary — that is, "rebellious female" — would have been seen 
as another comic stroke. Imagine such an individual reading of a 
savior who told his followers to "follow me" and become "fishers for 
men" on the beach at Gennesareth, and who described his flesh as 
"living bread" at Jerusalem, having both his mother and every other 
female member of his entourage named Mary. To cognoscenti of the 
Flavian court, the Gospels were burlesque. Understanding that the 
authors of the New Testament created comic themes regarding indi- 
viduals with the same name is a critical insight that will enable one 
to learn the real identity of Lazarus in the following chapter. 

Further, knowing that the rebel leaders were transformed into 
the Christian Apostles clarifies the intent the Romans had for their 
religion. The Romans wished to not merely destroy the militant 
brand of messianic Judaism that spawned the rebellion but to 
rewrite its history in such a way as to make both its Messiah and its 
leaders become the "founders" of Christianity. In this manner, the 
Romans intended to make the history of the Sicarii movement dis- 
appear by having its beliefs and key figures become the "history" of 
their new religion. 

We are also able to understand the plight of John, the leader 
who was imprisoned by the Romans and was satirized as the Apos- 
tle John and the demoniac of Gadara. Both Josephus and the authors 
of the New Testament often made reference to the fact that they 
wrote the truth. I believe that they were sincere in this claim but 



The Demons of Gadara 9 1 

required the reader to understand the code that they wrote the truth 
in. Therefore, I believe that John, after coming out of the "tombs," 
and coming to his "right mind," did cooperate with the Romans and 
"publish" Christian literature at Decapolis. 

The ending of the Gospel of John specifically identifies the 
"John" whom Jesus spared as its author. Understanding that the 
Apostle "John" and the demoniac of Gadara were both lampoons of 
John, along with Simon a leader of the Jewish rebellion, enabled me 
to see the real meaning of the following statement concerning the 
demoniac of Gadara: 

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great 
things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel. 85 

The passage indicates that John, a leader of the rebellion, was 
taken to Decapolis, where he provided the Romans with details of the 
messianic movement that were used in creating the New Testament. 
John was used by the Romans to help create the literature that poi- 
soned the future of his own people. The Romans then "recorded" 
their use of John, anticipating that those in the future who would learn 
the truth regarding Christianity's origin would appreciate such irony. 

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, 
and who has written these things; and we know that his 
testimony is true. 86 

This "conversion" by the rebel leader John to Christianity, also 
explains the two Simons' different surnames. The Simon who is 
condemned at the end of the New Testament is called "Simon bar 
Jonas," while the Simon who is condemned at the conclusion of 
Titus' campaign is named "Simon bar Gioras." Jonas is simply the 
Hebrew for John — once again the name-switching technique — indi- 
cating that Simon was the son of John. Gioras, means "the convert" 
in Hebrew, thus, the rebel Simon's full name was "Simon the son of 
the convert," a satirical synonym for "Simon, the son of John" 
because John had become a "convert" to the new religion. 

The fact that John was Simon's father also fulfills another 
"innocuous" prophecy found within the New Testament: 



92 Caesar's Messiah 

From now on, five in one household will be divided: three 
against two, and two against three. They will be divided, 
father against son, son against father. 87 

Josephus records that at the beginning of the siege of Jerusalem 
Simon and John waged a violent struggle for control of the city, both 
against one another and against the leader of yet another faction, 
named Eleazar. 88 War of the Jews contains a clear theme regarding 
the Jews destroying themselves that I shall go into more depth else- 
where. 

1 conclude this chapter by pointing out that throughout Chris- 
tianity's history, Jesus' words have been interpreted as the very 
essence of love. My analysis indicates that this is, at times, a com- 
plete misunderstanding, albeit one that was deliberately brought 
about. The "Jesus" who is speaking to Simon in John 21 did not 
have love in his heart. 

What was in his heart can be known by rereading the passage 
with the understanding that Jesus was describing what Titus would 
do to Simon, the captured leader of the Jewish rebellion. When these 
words are read as an address to a man who would be taken to Rome 
and tortured to death, what was in Jesus' heart is truly revealed. As 
John the Baptist states, Jesus did not come to baptize with water but 
with fire. 

Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded 
yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, 
you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you 
and carry you where you do not wish to go. 

(This he said to show by what death he was to glorify 
God.) And after this he said to him, "Follow me." 



CHAPTER 5 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 



When I first discovered the parallels between the "ministries" of 
Titus Flavius and Jesus it was apparent to me that they were 
designed to create a hidden satire that indicated the true "Son of 
Man" foreseen by Jesus was Titus. This is especially clear at the end- 
ing of the Gospel of John, when Jesus predicts that Simon will suf- 
fer a martyr's death and that John will be spared. The only individ- 
ual in history who can be seen as having fulfilled those prophecies 
is Titus. 

At that point in my analysis I saw Jesus and Titus as completely 
separate individuals, their only connection being that Jesus had 
satirically predicted Titus' "coming." However, 1 was also beginning 
to suspect that there was nothing inadvertent within the New Testa- 
ment, that every word of it was somehow part of a comic system. 

This suspicion stemmed from the discovery that many of its 
seemingly innocuous details were comically related to events 
described in War of the Jews, for example, the prediction in the New 
Testament that Mary will have her heart "pierced through." But if the 
New Testament and the War of the Jews were a unified comic system 
then it was clear there were some parts I did not understand. Partic- 
ularly perplexing to me was Jesus telling his disciples that unless 
they "eat the flesh" of the "Son of Man" they would "have no life in 
[them]." 89 If Titus was the "Son of Man" Jesus foresaw, why did he 
also tell his disciples that they would eat the Son of Man's flesh? — 
obviously not a prediction about the future Roman emperor. 

I therefore began a study to determine if the character the New 
Testament calls Jesus might be comically related to War of the Jews 



93 



94 Caesar's Messiah 

in a way I did not yet understand. I began analyzing every detail in 
the two works to determine if there were connections between Jesus' 
ministry and Josephus' history that I had not yet noticed. I was 
guided in this search by the fact that the parallels and puzzles I had 
discovered were all designed to reveal a hidden identity. 

The question I was trying to answer was an old one: Who is 
Jesus? 

The mystery of Jesus' identity begins with his very name. "Jesus 
Christ," or, as Paul calls him, "Christ Jesus," was certainly not the 
real name of the founder of Christianity. Christ is the Greek word for 
"Messiah" and Jesus is a Greek homophone (ee-ay-sooce) for the 
Hebrew word Yeshua, which can mean either "God saves" or, as in 
the case of Jesus, "Savior." 

The proposition that Jesus' name was to be understood as "Sav- 
ior" cannot be disputed because it is confirmed by no less a source 
than an "angel of the Lord." 

But while he [Joseph] thought about these things Behold, 
an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying . . . 
"And she will have a son, and you are to name him 
Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." 

Matt. 1 :20-21 

The word the angel used to indicate that Jesus would save his peo- 
ple was soteria, 90 a derivative of soter, 91 the Greek word for "savior." 

However, the angel who named the child Jesus also began the 
confusion over the identity of the "Savior Messiah." Immediately 
following his instruction to call the child "Jesus," the angel notes 
that the child that the "virgin will conceive," is to be called by 
another name. 

All of this happened to fulfill the Lord's message through 
his prophet: 

"Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give 
birth to a son, and he will be called Immanuel (meaning, 
God is with us]." 

Matt. 1 :22-23 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 95 

The confusion over the identity of Jesus is also apparent during 
his trial, when the New Testament introduces another "Jesus," Jesus 
Barabbas. This Jesus, like many of the messianic aspirants described 
by Josephus, is said to have started an insurrection. 

But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and 
release to us Jesus Barabbas" — 

a man who had been thrown into prison for an insur- 
rection started in the city, and for murder. 

Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release 
Jesus; 

but they shouted out, "Crucify, crucify him!" 

A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he 
done? I have found in him no crime deserving death; I will 
therefore chastise him and release him." 

Jesus also contributes to the confusion regarding the identity of 
the "Savior Messiah" by referring to the individual he foresees bring- 
ing destruction of Judea not as himself but as the "Son of Man." 

Therefore you also must be ready; for it is at a time when 
you do not expect Him that the Son of Man will come. 

Matt 24:42-44 

The New Testament describes more than one person as "Jesus," 
and refers to Jesus by a number of different names. I began to won- 
der if the New Testament was somehow indicating that there could 
be more than one Messiah, or "Christ" — in other words, that the 
New Testament was calling more than one character "Jesus." 

The very name "Jesus" contributes to this idea. That the "sav- 
ior" of humankind was so named at birth is obviously problematic, 
Eusebius, for example, suggests that the name Jesus might have 
been allegorical. In other words, as was the case with Christ, Jesus 
may have been so named after it became clear that he was, indeed, 
the Savior. 

Eusebius was only pointing out the obvious. "Savior Messiah" 
was not merely a name during this era but also a title, one that any- 
one who saw himself as having been sent by God to "save" Judea 



96 Caesar's Messiah 

might claim. From the perspective of Titus, the true "son of god" of 
Judea could not have been any of the Jewish messianic aspirants 
who waged war against Rome. It could only have been himself. 

Josephus records that the struggle over who was the true Savior 
Messiah of Judea was the real cause of the war between the Romans 
and the Jews: 

But what more than all else incited them to the war was an 
ambiguous oracle also found in their sacred writings, that 
"At about that time, one from their country would become 
ruler of the habitable world." This they took to mean one of 
their own people, and many of the wise men were misled in 
their interpretation. This oracle, however, in reality signified 
the government of Vespasian, who was proclaimed 
emperor while in Judea. 92 

Josephus could not have stated that the Flavian Caesars saw 
themselves as the Messiahs, or "Christs," foreseen by the prophecies 
of Judaism's world ruler any more clearly. But this proposition sug- 
gests questions. How could Titus have taken the title of the "Christ" 
away from the messianic leaders that he struggled with? How could 
Titus have made the rebellious Jews call him "Christ"? 

I discovered how Titus achieved this during my efforts to deter- 
mine if Jesus, like his Apostles, had a secret identity. I uncovered a 
series of puzzles within the New Testament and War of the Jews that 
reveal that not only was Titus Flavius the "Son of Man" predicted by 
Jesus, but that he was, in fact, the "Jesus" who interacted with the 
disciples in the final passage of the Gospels — in John 21, Put simply, 
the puzzles reveal that Titus is the "Jesus" Christianity has unknow- 
ingly worshiped. 

These puzzles also reveal that the name of the Jewish savior 
Titus captured on the Mount of Olives and stole the title of "Christ" 
from was Eleazar, and that he was satirized as the "Lazarus" within 
the New Testament. The puzzles were also designed to change the 
story line of the New Testament from the one that has been a com- 
fort to mankind into perhaps the most vicious tale ever written. 

To begin to show how these puzzles accomplish all this, it is 
first necessary to explain how the New Testament interacts with War 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 97 

of the Jews to disclose the name of the Jewish savior Titus captured 
on the Mount of Olives and executed. 

This individual's name was Eleazar, which means "whom God 
aids" in Hebrew and is translated as "Lazarus" in Greek. The fact 
that the New Testament records that Jesus raised Lazarus from the 
dead makes the notion that Lazarus might have been the name of 
the "Christ" that Titus executed especially hard to accept. To come 
to this understanding the reader must both recognize a number of 
parallels between Jesus and Eleazar and solve a series of puzzles. 
Only then can the reader learn the Jewish Messiah's real name. 

I recognize that the parallels may seem disjointed and difficult 
to comprehend at first, but I ask the reader to bear with this. If the 
comic connections between the New Testament and War oj the Jews 
were meant to be seen easily they would not have remained hidden 
for 2,000 years. In this case the satirical connections between Jesus 
and Eleazar have been hidden by placing the key parallels to Jesus 
into a number of different characters named Eleazar or Lazarus. The 
author requires the reader to remember events experienced by a 
number of different "Eleazars" to understand his point. In other 
words, as he had with the various "Simons" and the demoniac of 
Gadara above, the author is using different characters that he links 
typologically by a shared name or parallel experiences to create a 
single satiric theme. The apparent vagueness of the parallels 
between Jesus and Eleazar will ultimately lead to a connection that 
is of crystal clarity. 

Once I had begun the study to determine the identity of Jesus, 
I noticed that there are parallels between him and a number of char- 
acters named Eleazar. As I show below, characters named "Lazarus" 
or "Eleazar" were said to have had the Jesus-like attributes of having 
been born in Galilee, having the power to expel demons, having 
been scourged, having been plotted against by high priests, having 
survived a crucifixion, having a tomb that was very like Jesus', and, 
of course, having risen from the dead. 

Although I saw the parallels as unusual, their meaning, if any, 
was unclear until I uncovered two puzzles whose solutions disclose 
the name of an unnamed character as "Eleazar." Knowing that these 
two unnamed characters were so named revealed that "Eleazar" was 



98 Caesar's Messiah 

captured on the Mount of Olives, survived a crucifixion, and was a 
son of Mary whose flesh was eaten as a symbolic Pascal lamb. 
Adding these unique attributes of Jesus to those previously men- 
tioned creates a clear picture. The name of the "Christ" who was 
captured on the Mount of Olives and executed by the Romans was 
Eleazar. 

The following passage from War of the Jews describes an Eleazar 
who was a "Galilean." While being a Galilean is hardly an unusual 
designation, the reader will note that the Eleazar in the passage has 
other parallels with Jesus — his self-sacrifice and the strokes upon 
his naked body. 

And here a certain Jew appeared worthy of our relation and 
commendation; he was the son of Sameas, and was called 
Eleazar, and was born at Saab, in Galilee. This man took up 
a stone of a vast bigness, and threw it down from the wall 
upon the ram, and this with so great a force, that it broke 
off the head of the engine. He also leaped down, and took 
up the head of the ram from the midst of them, and without 
any concern carried it to the top of the wall, and this while 
he stood as a fit mark to be pelted by all his enemies. 
Accordingly, he received the strokes upon his naked body. 

The following passage reveals that "Eleazar," like Jesus, had the 
power to dispel demons. It is an obviously fictitious tale and it is 
therefore interesting that Josephus claims that the exorcism 
occurred in his presence, and in the presence of Vespasian and his 
sons Titus and Domitian. Knowing that Eleazar was Jesus and that 
the "demoniacs" were the Jewish rebels clarifies the real meaning of 
this odd tale. It is a spoof on the power of "Jesus" to rid the rebels 
of their demonic wickedness, that is, their rebelliousness. Notice 
that it also repeats the idea from the tale of the demoniacs of Gadara, 
that demons are unable to pass through water. 

... for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose 
name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal 
in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his captains, 
and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner of the 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 99 

cure was this: He put a ring that had a root of one of those 
sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the demoniac, 
after which he drew out the demon through his nostrils . . . 
And when Eleazar would persuade and demonstrate to the 
spectators that he had such a power, he set a little way off 
a cup or basin full of water, and commanded the demon, as 
he went out of the man, to overturn it, and thereby to let the 
spectators know that he had left the man. 93 

The passage above is related to the following passage from War 
of the Jews regarding another magical root that could dispel demons. 
The story takes place in a land called "Baaras" where a "sort of rue" 
also named "Baaras" grew. Baaras appears to be a play on the word 
for son, bar, reminiscent of the manner in which Sicarii was perhaps 
deliberately misspelled as Iscariot. The New Testament and Josephus 
often engage in humor regarding the identity of the "Son." The pas- 
sage also states that this magical "rue" has been around "since the 
times of Herod, and would probably have lasted much longer had it 
not been cut down by those Jews." This indicates we are dealing 
with a single plant. However, what sort of plant is there only one of? 
In any case, why is Josephus going to lengths to describe a plant that 
no longer exits? Further, Josephus also defines in the passage what 
he meant by the word "demons." They are the "spirits of the wicked," 
thus supporting the idea that the "wicked" Sicarii were possessed by 
"demons" and were the "unclean spirits' in the "demons of Gadara," 
as well as the idea that the demons Eleazar is exorcizing in the pas- 
sage above are Jewish rebels. 

When the elements of the passage below regarding the magical 
"root" are viewed as a group, a picture emerges. The passage 
describes a single plant that was called "son," which had been 
around since the time of Herod and had a magical power to drive out 
demons. This "son" would have lasted longer except that "those 
Jews" cut it down. What, other than a satire of Jesus, could this pas- 
sage be? As the passage contains clear parallels to the one above, 
describing an "Eleazar" who also dispels demons using a magical 
rue, it was written to connect "Eleazar" to the other son who exor- 
cized demons — that is, Jesus. 



100 Caesar's Messiah 

Now within this place there grew a sort of rue that deserves 
our wonder on account of its largeness, for it was no way 
inferior to any fig tree whatsoever, either in height or in 
thickness; and the report is, that it had lasted ever since the 
times of Herod, and would probably have lasted much 
longer, had it not been cut down by those Jews who took 
possession of the place afterward. But still in that valley 
which encompasses the city on the north side there is a 
certain place called Baaras, which produces a root of the 
same name with itself ... it is only valuable on account of 
one virtue it hath, that if it be only brought to sick persons, 
it quickly drives away those called demons, which are no 
other than the spirits of the wicked, that enter into men that 
are alive and kill them, unless they can obtain some help 
against them. 94 

The passage above from War of the Jews describing the magical 
root "Baaras" is immediately followed by a passage regarding yet 
another "Eleazar" from an "eminent" family. This "Eleazar" is a 
transparent parallel to Jesus, as he survives both a scourging of his 
naked flesh and a crucifixion. 

... the Romans when they came upon the others' sallies 
against their banks, they foresaw their coming, and were 
upon their guard when they received them; But the conclu- 
sion of this siege did not depend upon these bickerings; but 
a certain surprising accident, relating to what was done in 
this siege, forced the Jews to surrender the citadel. There 
was a certain young man among the besieged, of great 
boldness, and very active of his hand, his name was 
Eleazar; he greatly signalized himself in those sallies, and 
encouraged the Jews to go out in great numbers, in order 
to hinder the raising of the banks, and did the Romans a 
vast deal of mischief when they came to fighting; he so 
managed matters, that those who sallied out made their 
attacks easily, and returned back without danger, and this 
by still bringing up the rear himself. Now it happened that, 
on a certain time, when the fight was over, and both sides 
were parted, and retired home, he, in way of contempt of 
the enemy, and thinking that none of them would begin the 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 101 

fight again at that time, staid without the gates, and talked 
with those that were upon the wall, and his mind was wholly 
intent upon what they said. Now a certain person belonging 
to the Roman camp, whose name was Rufus, by birth an 
Egyptian, ran upon him suddenly, when nobody expected 
such a thing, and carried him off, with his armor itself; 
while, in the mean time, those that saw it from the wall 
were under such an amazement, that Rufus prevented their 
assistance, and carried Eleazar to the Roman camp. So the 
general of the Romans ordered that he should be taken up 
naked, set before the city to be seen, and sorely whipped 
before their eyes. Upon this sad accident that befell the 
young man, the Jews were terribly confounded, and the city, 
with one voice, sorely lamented him, and the mourning 
proved greater than could well be supposed upon the 
calamity of a single person. 95 

The following part of the passage is notable as it is a satirical 
description of the rationale that led to the creation of Christianity. 
The Romans, seeing the love that the Jewish rebels held for their 
Messiah, decided to use this attachment to their own advantage. 
That is, they decided to create a Roman Messiah. This passage is 
directly linked to the New Testament's story of Jesus' capture on the 
Mount of Olives. 

When Bassus perceived that, he began to think of using a 
stratagem against the enemy, and was desirous to aggra- 
vate their grief, in order to prevail with them to surrender 
the city for the preservation of that man. Nor did he fail of 
his hope; for he commanded them to set up a cross, as if he 
were just going to hang Eleazar upon it immediately; the 
sight of this occasioned a sore grief among those that were 
in the citadel, and they groaned vehemently, and cried out 
that they could not bear to see him thus destroyed. Where- 
upon Eleazar besought them not to disregard him, now he 
was going to suffer a most miserable death, and exhorted 
them to save themselves, by yielding to the Roman power 
and good fortune, since they now conquered all other peo- 
ple. These men were greatly moved with what he said, there 
being also many within the city that interceded for him, 



102 Caesar's Messiah 

because he was of an eminent and very numerous family; 
so they now yielded to their passion of commiseration, con- 
trary to their usual custom. Accordingly, they sent out 
immediately certain messengers, and treated with the 
Romans, in order to arrange a surrender of the citadel to 
them, and desired that they might be permitted to go away, 
and take Eleazar along with them. Then did the Romans 
and their general accept of these terms. 96 

Another linking of Jesus and Eleazar (Lazarus) occurs in the 
New Testament. After describing Lazarus' resurrection, the Gospel 
of John states that the high priests plotted against him. This parallel 
is transparent as it occurs within the same passage where the high 
priests plot against Jesus. 

But the High Priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also. 97 

So War of the Jews and the New Testament describes characters 
named "Eleazar" who have the Jesus-like attributes of having being 
born in Galilee, having the power to dispel demons, having been 
plotted against by the High Priests, having been scourged, having 
survived a crucifixion, and having risen from the dead. These 
"Eleazars" are the only individuals within these works with so many 
of Jesus' attributes. 

However, to learn that "Eleazar" was the real "Savior" the authors 
of Josephus and the New Testament required the reader to first solve 
the following two puzzles. The first puzzle reveals that Eleazar was 
captured on the Mount of Olives. To solve the puzzle one must first 
recognize that the following passage, in which Josephus gives his 
version of a capture on the Mount of Olives, is parallel to the pas- 
sage above that described an Eleazar who was scourged and escaped 
death from crucifixion. 

The following is the complete text of Josephus' Mount of Olives 
capture: 

Now after one day had been interposed since the Romans 
ascended the breach, many of the seditious were so pressed 
by the famine, upon the present failure of their ravages, 
that they got together, and made an attack on those Roman 
guards that were upon the Mount of Olives. The Romans 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 103 

were apprised of their coming to attack them beforehand, 
and, running together from the neighboring camps on the 
sudden, prevented them from getting over their fortifica- 
tion, and one whose name was Pedanius, belonging to a 
party of horsemen, when the Jews were already beaten and 
forced down into the valley together, spurred his horse on 
their flank with great vehemence, and caught up a certain 
young man belonging to the enemy by his ankle, as he was 
running away; the man was, however, of a robust body, and 
in his armor; so low did Pedanius bend himself downward 
from his horse, even as he was galloping away, and so great 
was the strength of his right hand, and of the rest of his 
body, as also such skill had he in horsemanship. So this 
man seized upon that his prey, as upon a precious treasure, 
and carried him as his captive to Caesar; whereupon Titus 
admired the man that had seized the other for his great 
strength, and ordered the man that was caught to be pun- 
ished [with death] for his attempt against the Roman wall. 98 

This incident took place on the Mount of Olives, the location 
the New Testament gives for Jesus' capture. As I had seen that the 
New Testament and War of the Jews often shared conceptually paral- 
lel events at the same locations, I attempted to analyze the two pas- 
sages to determine if they might also be related. 

I first noticed that there is a parallel between the two Mount of 
Olive captures in terms of the relative time when they occur. The 
New Testament's capture takes place immediately before Jesus, the 
symbolic temple of the New Testament, is destroyed. The Mount of 
Olives capture in War of the Jews likewise takes place immediately 
before the destruction of the temple. However, whereas the identity 
of the man who was captured on the Mount of Olives in the New 
Testament is well known, in Josephus' version the captured individ- 
ual is described only as a "certain young man." 

I wondered if it might be possible, as 1 had with the demoniacs 
of Gadara, to learn the name of this "certain young man." It was dur- 
ing the effort to determine this that the way in which the New Tes- 
tament and War of the Jews use parallelism to identify their unnamed 
characters finally became clear to me. 



104 Caesar's Messiah 

This use of parallelism came directly from the Hebrew Bible 
and, in a sense, its use in the New Testament was to be expected. As 
the authors of the New Testament borrowed concepts such as the 
Exodus, the Passover lamb, and the Messiah, it was logical for them 
to copy its use of intertextual parallels as well. 

The Hebrew Bible was structured as an organic whole and can 
be thought of a "a series of concentric circles with some interlock- 
ing rings," as Freedman puts it." For instance, the Torah and the 
book of Joshua (which together form the Hexateuch) have an over- 
all mirror-image literary structure in which the main themes of 
books from Genesis up to Exodus 33 are then mirrored in parallel 
structures in the books from Exodus 34 to Joshua 24. 

The creators of the Hebrew Bible also used structural parallels 
at a micro level. For instance, in a technique known as pedimental 
composition, 100 two passages that contain many parallels are used 
to provide a literary "frame" by sandwiching a third central passage 
between them — for example, Leviticus 18 and 20 provide such a 
"frame" for the central passage in Leviticus 19. The consequence of 
these traditional literary techniques is that the Jewish reader does 
not read a text in what might be thought of as a rational, straight- 
forward, and linear manner. On the contrary, the Jewish reading is 
intertextual. The use of similar phrasing, formulas, places, clothing, 
and so on are used to create layers of associative meaning, as con- 
trasts, and to provide continuity and color. In some cases the authors 
create what Robert Alter has called "type scenes" — so, for exam- 
ple, Abraham's servant meeting a young woman by a well is then 
later paralleled by Moses meeting a young woman by a well, and the 
reader is invited to contemplate the similarities, differences, and 
continuities. 

In Hebrew literature, these typological relationships are a source 
of open-ended speculation and debate. To the Romans this perhaps 
seemed part of the barbarous mysticism that provoked the Jewish 
Zealots to revolt. So they "improved" the nature of their parallels in 
the New Testament from the open-ended types found within the 
Hebrew canon to ones that were very precise in their logical and 
chronological relationships, and in the identities that they reveal. 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 105 

The authors of the Gospels were very aware of the typology in 
Hebraic literature and were, in effect, showing that they were able to 
produce a more perfect, more complex form of it. Moreover, there 
was a profound irony in the authors' requiring the Gospels and War 
of the Jews to be read in the manner of Judaic literature in order to 
learn that they had created a false Judaism. 

The insight that Josephus was using typological parallels 
occurred when I noticed that Josephus' tale regarding the capture of 
the unnamed "certain young man" on the Mount of Olives is paral- 
lel to another passage within War of the Jews, the passage above, in 
which Eleazar is whipped and escapes crucifixion. Josephus identi- 
fied the two stories as being parallel by having each passage tell the 
same story, their only differences being in location and that the "cer- 
tain young man" is unnamed in the Mount of Olives version. 

For clarification, I present the following list of the parallels 
between the two passages: 

In each, besieged Jews are encircled by a wall. 

In each, the Jews attack the siege wall. 

In each case the Romans foresee the attack. 

In each, a Jew is literally carried away by a single Roman in a 

manner that is physically impossible. 
In each, the man who is carried away is in his armor. 

Within the works of Josephus there are thousands of passages. 
These are the only two that share these parallel characteristics. Jose- 
phus thus notified the "intelligent reader," that is, the reader with a 
good memory, that the two stories are parallel. Further, there is a 
simple point of logic that the authors require the reader to appre- 
hend, this being that since the passages are parallel, the unnamed 
"certain young man" who is carried away in one must have the same 
name as the "certain young man" named Eleazar who has the same 
experience in the other. 

The passages are also the start of a comic theme that Josephus 
and the New Testament develop regarding the Messiah who was cap- 
tured on the Mount of Olives. This theme, which I refer to as the 
"root and branch," begins with the last sentence in the passage 



106 Caesar's Messiah 

above from War of the Jews. Notice that the translator (William 
Whiston) places brackets around the words that he uses to describe 
the punishment of the unnamed "certain young man" captured on 
the Mount of Olives "(with death)." 

Whiston used this device to notify the reader that he was delib- 
erately mistranslating the Greek words Josephus wrote in order to 
render what seemed a more coherent reading. The Greek words he 
is translating as [with death], kolasai keleusas, are translated literally 
as "commanded to be pruned." "Pruned" is, of course, a word that 
describes a gardening activity. Thus, Titus did not order the "certain 
young man" to be put to "death," as Whiston's translation reads, but 
to be "pruned," a word used quite logically on the Mount of Olives. 
"Kolasai" was used by the Greek naturalist Theophratus in the 
fourth century B.C.E. to describe the pruning necessary to cultivate 
wild plants. His work on plants was often referenced by individuals 
from Titus' era such as Pliny and Seneca, and specifically covered the 
process by which wild olive trees could be transformed into culti- 
vated ones. 102 Theophratus was the scientific ancestor of Pedanius 
Dioscorides, the Roman scientist and physician who accompanied 
Vespasian and Titus to Judea and was a key part of the theme of 
comedy concerning the "root and branch." 

This use of the word "pruned" to describe the fate of the "cer- 
tain young man" is part of a broad satirical theme within the New 
Testament. The leaders of the Jewish rebellion were used as the his- 
torical "tree" onto which Christianity was "grafted." Paul's descrip- 
tion of Christianity being grafted onto Judaism below is part of this 
"root and branch" theme. Notice that Paul states that it is an olive 
tree that is to be grafted onto. The olive tree being, of course, the tree 
that would be "pruned" on the Mount of Olives. 

For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest 
he also spare not thee. 

Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on 
them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou 
continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 

And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be 
grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again. 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 107 

For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by 
nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive 
tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural 
branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 

For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of 
this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; 
that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the full- 
ness of the Gentiles be come in. 

Rom. 11:21-25 

Josephus continued with this vegetive theme by making a joke 
regarding "pressing." Notice that at the beginning of his description 
of a capture on the Mount of Olives, Josephus states that the Jews 
were "pressed" by famine. This use of the word "press" by Josephus 
satirically links his passage describing a Mount of Olive capture with 
the New Testament's version of a Mount of Olives capture. The gar- 
den Jesus wanders into while on the Mount of Olives is called Geth- 
semane, an Aramaic word that is usually translated as "olive press." 
However, as Klausner points out, the word is "difficult" and may 
also be related to wine. Beth-Shemanaya is a name used in the Tal- 
mud to describe a "hall of wine and oil." 103 

And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testa- 
ment, which is shed for many. 

Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of 
the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of 
God. 

And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into 
the mount of Olives. 

And they came to a place that was named Geth- 
semane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I 
shall pray. 

Mark 14:32 

We have shown that Jesus' calling his flesh "bread" is comically 
related to the cannibalism that the besieged Jewish rebels engaged 
in. Likewise, the description of Jesus' passion in the garden of Geth- 
semane is a lampoon of his "giving of his blood," which he described 
as "wine." 



108 Caesar's Messiah 

Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: 
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, 
strengthening him. 

And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and 
his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down 
to the ground. 

Luke 22:42-44 

Naming the garden where Jesus' sweat is compared to drops of 
blood "olive press" is also part of the comic theme. However, the 
passage in the Gospel of Luke that contains the related comic image, 
that of the drops of blood that spill from Jesus being like the liquid 
squeezed from grapes or olives in a press, does not refer to the name 
of the garden. This must be gleaned from reading versions of the 
Mount of Olives tale in the other Gospels, in which the name of the 
garden is Gethsemane. 

The comedy the four Gospels work together, regarding Jesus' 
passion at Gethsemane, to show that the Gospels are not four sepa- 
rate testimonies of Jesus, but rather a unified piece of literature with 
nothing inadvertent in it. All of their seemingly irrelevant or con- 
tradictory details have a purpose at the comic level. In this instance, 
the authors have kept the comedy from being too obvious by plac- 
ing the word for a wine or olive press, Gethsemane, into one 
Gospel's version of the story and the image of blood dropping from 
Jesus in another. Josephus then expands the comic theme in War of 
the Jews by placing a play on the word "press" in that Mount of 
Olives story. 

Once again, only readers alert enough to combine elements 
from different versions of the same story can understand the joke. 
Notice that this technique is consistent throughout. To understand 
the joke in Luke regarding Gethsemane the reader must recall 
another Gospel's version of the same story. Likewise, the parallels 
between the two tales from War of the Jews above, which described 
a "certain young man" being carried off, can only be grasped by the 
reader whose memory is sufficient to recall the first story while read- 
ing the second. The authors of the New Testament and Josephus ere- 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 109 

ated what might be called history's first intelligence test. The conse- 
quence for failing it is belief in a false god. 

I would also note that this vegetative theme regarding a Messiah 
captured in a garden named olive press or wine press may have been 
a parody of a Hebrew metaphor, recorded in the Targum, of the Mes- 
siah crushing Israel's enemies in a press. Rome's comic Messiah did 
not crush his enemies like "grapes in the wine press," but rather was 
"pressed" himself. 

How lovely is the king Messiah, who is to rise from the 
house of Judah. 

He girds his loins and goes out to wage war on those 
who hate him, 

killing kings and rulers . . . 

and reddening the mountains with the blood of their 
slain. 

With his garments dipped in blood, 

he is like one who treads grapes in the wine press 104 

It is remarkable that the "root and branch" theme that the New 
Testament and Josephus create regarding the Messiah has not been 
noticed before, since it is quite clear. The "olive tree" that is "pruned" 
so that Christianity could be "grafted in" just happens to be on the 
"Mount of Olives" in a garden named "Gethsemane," a word that 
means "olive press." In this instance, the very names and locations 
give away the fact that the story is comedy and not history. 

If the Romans did, in fact, capture Eleazar, the messianic "branch" 
of the Jewish rebels, on the Mount of Olives, it would have been the 
specific inspiration for this comic theme. In the following chapter, 
my analysis of this vegetative theme concludes as Titus — called a 
"gardener" because he has "pruned" Eleazar — "grafts" himself onto 
the Jewish Messiah's identity and history and becomes "Jesus." 

I will show in "The New Root and Branch" chapter that this 
"pruning" of the certain young man, described so off-handedly by 
Josephus, is the fate of the real Messiah, whom Christianity is based 
upon. 

Further, the New Testament story of Jesus' capture is linked to 
Titus' campaign in yet another way. The New Testament states that 



1 10 Caesar's Messiah 

Jesus was captured within a garden named Gethsemane. In the ver- 
sion of his capture recounted in the Gospel of Mark there is a char- 
acter described only as a naked "certain young man" who, unlike 
Jesus, was able to escape from the attackers. 

I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me 
not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. 

And they all forsook him, and fled. 

and there followed him a certain young man, having a 
linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men 
laid hold on him: 

And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. 

And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with 
him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and 
the scribes. 

Mark 14:49-53 

The description of the naked man has puzzled scholars. Why 
did the author interrupt his description of something as important 
as the capture of Jesus to record an event as irrelevant as the escape 
of an unnamed character? I believe that I am able to answer this 
question and also to identify this unnamed character. 

The answer comes from the fact that there was another "naked" 
individual who had a parallel escape from a band of armed men in 
the same garden. This individual was Titus Flavius. Once again the 
New Testament and War of the Jews each describe a conceptually 
parallel event at the same location — "fishing" for men at Gen- 
nesareth, "demons" at Gadara, a son of Mary whose flesh was eaten 
at Jerusalem, and, in the following passage, a "naked" young man in 
a garden outside the northeastern corner of Jerusalem who escaped 
from a band of armed men. 

Now, so long as he rode along the straight road which led 
to the wall of the city, nobody appeared out of the gates; but 
when he went out of that road, and declined towards the 
tower Psephinus, and led the band of horsemen obliquely, 
an immense number of the Jews leaped out suddenly at the 
towers called the "Women's Towers," through that gate 
which was over against the monuments of Queen Helena, 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 111 

and intercepted his horse; and standing directly opposite to 
those that still ran along the road, hindered them from join- 
ing those that had declined out of it. They intercepted Titus 
also, with a few others. Now it was here impossible for him 
to go forward, because all the places had trenches dug in 
them from the wall, to preserve the gardens round about, 
and were full of gardens obliquely situated, and of many 
hedges; and to return back to his own men, he saw it was 
also impossible, by reason of the multitude of the enemies 
that lay between them; many of whom did not so much as 
know that the king was in any danger, but supposed him 
still among them. So he perceived that his preservation 
must be wholly owing to his own courage, and turned his 
horse about, and cried out aloud to those that were about 
him to follow him, and ran with violence into the midst of his 
enemies, in order to force his way through them to his own 
men. And hence I may principally learn, that both the suc- 
cess of wars, and the dangers that kings are in, are under 
the providence of God; for while such a number of darts 
were thrown at Titus, when he had neither his head-piece 
on, nor his breastplate (for, as I told you, he went out not to 
fight, but to view the city), none of them touched his body, but 
went aside without hurting him; as if all of them missed him 
on purpose, and only made a noise as they passed by him. 

Thus, the New Testament and War of the Jews each placed their 
king in the same garden for his encounter with a band of armed men. 
In the New Testament, Jesus starts at the Mount of Olives, which is 
just outside Jerusalem's eastern edge, and walks northward to Geth- 
semane, from where the New Testament states that he "went a little 
farther." 105 In other words, to the northeastern corner of the city. 
Josephus describes Titus as traveling from the tower of Psephinus, 
which marked the city's northwestern corner, toward the monument 
of Queen Helena, along Jerusalem's northern border from west to east. 

Notice that in his version of a garden assault, Josephus makes 
the reader aware that Titus was, figuratively speaking, "naked," that 
is, he was wearing no armor, to create a satirical parallel to the "naked 
young man" who escapes from the garden in the New Testament. 



1 12 Caesar's Messiah 

As was the case in the puzzle regarding the capture of Eleazar, 
the unnamed "naked young man" in the New Testament must have 
the same name as the named individual within the parallel story in 
War of the Jews. Hence, the "certain young man" who escapes naked 
from his pursuers in the garden in the New Testament can be seen 
as a prototype of Titus, the "naked" young man who escapes from 
his pursuers in the same garden in War of the Jews. 

Thus, the New Testament and Josephus each describe two 
assaults that occur in gardens near the Mount of Olives. Notice the 
conceptual symmetry — each pair of Mount of Olives assaults con- 
tains a "naked" individual who escapes and another individual who 
is captured. The point of these parallel Mount of Olives assaults is 



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Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 113 

to separate the identities of the two "kings," Jesus and Titus — in 
other words, to separate the "king" who lives from the one who is 
crucified. This parallel is critically important in that it begins the 
process by which the New Testament's story of Jesus operates as a 
forerunner of the stories of both "Sons of God" described in War of 
the Jews — Eleazar and Titus. 

Titus is actually described by Josephus in the passage as a king 
when, in fact, at that moment he is only the son of the emperor. 

And hence we may principally learn, that both the success 
of wars, and the dangers that kings are in, are under the 
providence of God. 

This reference to Titus as a king has caught the attention of 
scholars, who have wondered why Josephus would have made such 
an obvious error. Josephus, of course, has not forgotten Titus' title. 
Rather, he is making a comment as to which "king," attacked in a 
garden outside Jerusalem, enjoys God's favor — Jesus, the king of the 
Jews or Titus, the king of the Romans. 

War of the Jews and the New Testament are working together to 
state that since the king of the Romans escaped from his attackers in 
the garden and the king of the Jews did not, this demonstrates which 
king was "under the providence of God." It is strange that Josephus' 
phrase in the passage above, "the dangers that kings are in," has not 
received more attention from scholars, because he is clearly referring 
to an event that occurs in the same garden where Jesus, the king of 
the Jews, is captured, and his use of the plural plainly indicates he 
is talking about more than one king. 

It is, at the least, an extraordinary coincidence that Josephus 
chose this moment and location to make an editorial comment 
regarding which king was under the "providence of God." 

Josephus seems to be making a point as to the relative value of 
faith in the divine and faith in one's self, which was perhaps the 
same thing to the Flavians, since they saw themselves as gods. This 
is made clear by the different responses Jesus and Titus have to the 
same situation. Both are kings who are cut off from their allies and 
assaulted by armed men in a garden outside Jerusalem's northeast- 
ern corner. Jesus, that is, Eleazar, meekly accepts God's will. Titus' 



1 14 Caesar's Messiah 

reaction, however, was the same as the naked young man in the New 
Testament who recognizes that his "preservation must be wholly 
owing to his own courage" and thus is able to escape his pursuers. 
Josephus may be providing a glimpse into the true "religious" belief 
of the Flavian emperors, which is, rely on one's self and not on the 
"providence" of gods. 

1 will now analyze the puzzle regarding Eleazar that reveals the most 
significant characteristic he and Jesus share. It is the puzzle that 
reveals that Lazarus was a son of "Mary" whose flesh was eaten as a 
Passover lamb. To solve this puzzle the reader must first combine 
two parallel passages within the New Testament and then combine 
that "combined story" with its parallel counterpart in Josephus. 
While this may seem complex, the authors create a clear path to fol- 
low. As in the puzzle above regarding the "certain young man" cap- 
tured on the Mount of Olives, the puzzle is about determining the 
name of an unnamed character, and again the answer is Eleazar. 

The puzzle begins with a passage from the Gospel of Luke in 
which Jesus gives advice to Martha when she is troubled that her sis- 
ter Mary is not helping her to serve the food. If Jesus' words are 
interpreted symbolically, he appears to be saying that listening to his 
teaching is more important than serving or eating food. Though 
seemingly innocuous, the following passage is the most important in 
the entire New Testament. 

Now as they went on their way, he entered a village; and a 
woman named Martha received him into her house. 

And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's 
feet and listened to his teaching. 

But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she 
went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister 
has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." 

But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are 
anxious and troubled about many things; 

one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, 
which shall not be taken away from her." 

Luke 10:38-42 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 115 

Like the New Testament's passage regarding the "certain young 
man" who was naked on the Mount of Olives, Luke 10:38-42 is 
strangely disconnected from the narrative both before and after it. 
Scholars have recognized that the passage seems related to another 
story regarding the serving of food found in the Gospel of John, 
which I call the "feast of Lazarus." During this "feast of Lazarus" 
Martha is described, as she is in the passage above from Luke, as 
serving food. Martha's sister Mary is also present at this feast, as is 
their brother, Lazarus, whom Jesus has recently raised from the 
dead. However, if the passage from the Gospel of Luke is a piece 
from the story in John, how did it find its way into another Gospel? 

Again, passages within the New Testament and War of the Jews 
that share parallels are intended to be read as Jewish literature — that 
is, intertextually. Read that way, from such a perspective these par- 
allel passages create a story with a meaning different from the one 
that appears on the surface. The passage from the Gospel of Luke 
shares parallels with the "feast of Lazarus" story in the Gospel of 
John. In both passages, Lazarus' sisters Mary and Martha are present 
and Martha is described as serving food. Thus, these passages can be 
combined as follows: 

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, 
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 
There they made him a supper; Martha served, and 
Lazarus was one of those at table with him. 

John 12:2-3 

At this point, the piece of the story that occurs in the Gospel of 
Luke can be seamlessly woven in. 

But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she 
went to him and said, "Lord, do you not care that my sister 
has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." 

But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are 
anxious and troubled about many things; 

one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, 
which shall not be taken away from her." 

Luke 10:40-42 



1 16 Caesar's Messiah 

While the scene created by combining the two passages may 
seem trivial, the fact that it joins the Lazarus story with Mary's "good 
portion" is critical in solving the puzzle of what, exactly, Mary's 
"good portion" is. Is Jesus speaking metaphorically here or can his 
words be taken literally, as I have shown they can in the expression 
"fishers of men?" I believe that, once again, those who see spiritual 
meaning in Jesus' words are being played for a fool. Though a char- 
acter named Mary who has a "fine portion" that is "not taken away 
from her" is quite rare in literature, a character with the same name 
and attributes is also found in War of the Jews, contained in the pas- 
sage that describes the Mary who ate her son, which I have analyzed 
previously. 

They threatened her that they would cut her throat imme- 
diately if she [Mary] did not show them what food she had 
gotten ready. She replied that she had saved a very fine por- 
tion of it for them, and withal uncovered what was left of her 
son. After which those men went out... and ... left the rest 
of that meat to the mother. 106 

Josephus' passage has a conceptual parallel in Luke 10:40. But 
the reader must make more than a linguistic connection in order to 
be able to see the parallels between the two passages. 

Note that the two Marys are an example, par excellence, of the 
fact that the conceptual parallels between the New Testament and 
War of the Jews cannot be seen through the literal method of analy- 
sis that scholars have always applied to the works. The relationship 
was created not by linguistic or grammatical parallels but by con- 
ceptual parallels. The authors uses different words and even differ- 
ent languages to create their typological relationships and require 
that the reader possess the mental capacity to recognize the parallel 
concepts that the different words create. 

The passage above from War of the Jews shares four overt paral- 
lels with the New Testament passages regarding Lazarus: a fine por- 
tion, the fact that the portion was not taken away, a character named 
Mary, and a relative named Eleazar (Lazarus). 

However, these four parallels are not the only ways in which the 
passages are linked. As noted above, Josephus' passage describing 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 117 

the Mary whose "good portion was not taken away from her" also 
contains a number of elements that parallel the New Testament's 
symbolic Passover lamb. These are a mother named Mary who would 
be "pierced through"; a house of hyssop; a sacrifice; one of Moses' 
instructions regarding the Passover lamb; the eating of a son's flesh 
who was to become a "byword to the world"; and Jerusalem as the 
location of the incident. 

Adding the "good portion that was not taken away" to the pre- 
viously mentioned parallels with the New Testament's Passover lamb 
puts to rest the question of whether Josephus' "son of Mary whose 
flesh was eaten" passage and the New Testament's Passover lamb are 
part of a comic system. Lightning may strike twice in the same place, 
but it does not strike nine times in a passage of less than two 
pages — a passage written by a member of a family with so many con- 
nections to Christianity. 

Though I did not understand the reasons for the numerous par- 
allels between the "son of Mary whose flesh was eaten" in War of the 
Jews and the Passover lamb of the New Testament when I first 
encountered them, their point is now clear. Read intertextually the 
passages indicate that the "good portion" that was not taken away 
from Mary in the New Testament was the same "good portion" that 
was not taken away from the Mary in the passage from Josephus. 
Therefore, the "good portion" that was being served at the feast of 
Lazarus was human flesh. But whose flesh? What was the name of 
the "son of Mary"? 

The parallels simply work in reverse to provide the answer. The 
Lazarus described in the New Testament shares parallel attributes 
with Mary's unnamed son in War of the Jews. Both have relatives 
named "Mary" who have a "good portion" that was not taken away. 
The author thus "informs" the alert reader that, again, since they 
share parallel attributes, Mary's unnamed son in War of the Jews had 
the same name as his counterpart in the parallel tale in the New Tes- 
tament — that is, "Lazarus." The comic point is that the "good por- 
tion" Mary and Jesus enjoy is the flesh of Lazarus. Notice the grim 
wordplay in the passage, "They made him a supper." 

The economy that the author used in creating the puzzle deserves 
note. The passage within War of the Jews identifies the nature of the 



1 1 8 Caesar's Messiah 

"good portion" in its parallel passage within the New Testament, 
while the same passage in the New Testament identifies Mary's 
unnamed son in War of the Jews. The two passages are also an exam- 
ple of a theme regarding prophecy that runs all the way through the 
New Testament. It is not just Jesus' overt prophesies that come to 
pass in War of the Jews, but everything that the New Testament states 
"shall" occur. 

Notice that, like the prophecy regarding Mary being "pierced 
through" above, the two passages are temporally logical. Jesus 
"prophesies" that Mary's fine portion shall not be taken away and, 
indeed, Josephus records that this "prophecy" came to pass. 

Of course, such "miraculous fulfillments" are to be expected. 
Jesus specifically stated that every letter and grammatical "dot" of 
the "law" would be fulfilled. 

Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the 
prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. 
For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, 
not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is ful- 
filled. 

Matt. 5:17-18 

It is not just his obvious prophecies, such as that the temple 
would be razed, that came to pass during Titus' campaign — virtually 
all of Jesus' ministry is a prophetical forerunner of some event from 
that campaign. Examples of this technique include a son of Mary 
whose flesh is eaten; Mary being told she will be "pierced through"; 
Jesus telling his disciples they will become "fishers of men"; the 
demoniacs of Gadara asking Jesus, "Have you come here to torment 
us before the time?"; Simon being called the "rock" upon which the 
new church will be built; Mary's fine portion that shall not be taken 
away from her; a naked young man who escapes his pursuers in the 
garden of Gethsemane; the list of signs Jesus states will occur before 
the temple is razed; as well as a Simon who is condemned and a John 
who is spared. 

The fact that so many seemingly innocuous but unusual New 
Testament statements regarding the future "come to pass" within 
War of the Jews is perhaps the simplest proof that the two works were 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 119 

designed to be read interactively. Josephus' recording of the fulfill- 
ment of so many of these "hidden" New Testament prophecies could 
not have occurred by chance. 

If I were permitted to ask critics of my thesis one question, it 
would be this: What is the probability that the satirical "fulfillment" 
of not one but two unique New Testament prophecies — Mary being 
"pierced through the heart" and her "fine portion not being taken 
away" — would exist within a passage that also contains an acciden- 
tal satire of the New Testament's Passover lamb? 

A skillfully designed, interactive relationship between the two 
works is also shown by the fact that the prophetic statements in the 
New Testament occur in the same order as their "fulfillment" does 
in War of the Jews. Clearly, the purpose of this comic theme is to con- 
firm that since his "ministry" has fulfilled every prophecy predicted 
by the Gospels, Titus is the Son of Man foreseen by Jesus. 

Returning to the analysis of the Eleazar puzzles, the question 
arises of how the flesh consumed at the feast of Lazarus could have 
been Lazarus' own, since he is described in the New Testament as 
having been raised from the dead by Jesus and as having been "with" 
him during the meal? To answer this question requires a careful 
reading of the passage in which Jesus "raises" Lazarus, which occurs 
immediately before the feast of Lazarus in the Gospel of John. I pres- 
ent the passage below. 

Now a certain man, named Lazarus, of Bethany, was lying 
ill — Bethany being the village of Mary and her sister 
Martha. 

(It was the Mary who poured the perfume over the Lord 
and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus 
was ill.] 

So the sisters sent to Him to say, "Master, he whom 
you hold dear is ill." 

Jesus received the message and said, "This illness is 
not to end in death, but is to promote the glory of God, in 
order that the Son of God may be glorified by it." 

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. 

When, however, He heard that Lazarus was ill, He still 
remained two days in that same place. 



Caesar's Messiah 

Then, after that, He said to the disciples, "Let us return 
to Judea." 

"Rabbi," exclaimed the disciples, "the Jews have just 
been trying to stone you, and do you think of going back 
there again?" 

Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the 
day? If any one walks in the day, he does not stumble, 
because he sees the light of this world. 

But if any one walks in the night, he stumbles, because 
the light is not in him." 

Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, "Our friend 
Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of 
sleep." 

The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, 
he will recover." 

Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought 
that he meant taking rest in sleep. 

Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead; 

and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that 
you may believe. But let us go to him." 

Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, 
"Let us also go, that we may die with him." 

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had 
already been in the tomb four days. 

Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, 

and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to 
console them concerning their brother. 

When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went 
and met him, while Mary sat in the house. 

Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my 
brother would not have died. 

And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, 
God will give you." 

Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 

Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in 
the resurrection at the last day." 

Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; 
he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 121 

and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. 
Do you believe this?" 

She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the 
Christ, the son of God, he who is coming into the world." 

When she had said this, she went and called her sister 
Mary, saying quietly, "The Teacher is here and is calling for 
you." 

And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to 
him. 

Now Jesus had not yet come to the village, but was still 
in the place where Martha had met him. 

When the Jews who were with her in the house, con- 
soling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed 
her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep 
there. 

Then Mary, when she came where Jesus was and saw 
him, fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been 
here, my brother would not have died." 

When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came 
with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and 
troubled; 

and he said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to 
him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. So the Jews said, 
"See how he loved him!" 

But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the 
eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?" 

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it 
was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 

Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of 
the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be 
an odor, for he has been dead four days." 

Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you would 
believe you would see the glory of God?" 

So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his 
eyes and said, "Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. 

I knew that thou hearest me always, but I have said this 
on account of the people standing by, that they may believe 
that thou didst send me." 



122 Caesar's Messiah 

When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, 
"Lazarus, come out." 

The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with 
bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to 
them, "Unbind him, and let him go." 

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary 
and had seen what he did, believed in him; 

but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them 
what Jesus had done. 

So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the 
council, and said, "What are we to do? For this man per- 
forms many signs. 

If we let him go on thus, every one will believe in him, 
and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place 
and our nation." 

John 11:1-48 

Notice that in the passage Jesus deliberately waits two days 
before he starts out to visit Lazarus, thereby allowing a total of four 
days to pass before he comes to the tomb, a point that Martha specif- 
ically mentions. This is different, of course, from the timing of Jesus' 
resurrection, which occurs three days after his death. The difference 
between Jesus' and Lazarus' resurrections is significant. During this 
era, Jews believed that the spirit was irrevocably gone on the fourth 
day following a person's death. 107 This is why Jesus' resurrection 
occurs on the third day after his death and makes the meaning of the 
parallel "good portion" passages clear. Lazarus' resurrection is a joke. 
Jesus merely raises Lazarus' body from his tomb. Someone who has 
been dead for four days cannot be restored to life. This also explains 
why Lazarus never speaks after he is "raised" from his tomb. The 
dead cannot speak. Notice also the mention of the stench of Lazarus' 
flesh, which parallels the stench of human flesh in the passage 
where Josephus describes Mary's "fine portion." Jesus' prophecy 
concerning the flesh of the "Son of Man" has, as always, come to 
pass and his flesh is literally, not symbolically, eaten. 

The comic point behind creating the Christian tradition of sym- 
bolically eating the flesh of the Messiah is clear in the lampoons that 
involve "Lazarus" and "Mary." The Romans created this tradition to 



Eleazar Lazarus: The Real Christ 123 

spoof the "fact" that Eleazar's body had been cannibalized by his 
family and followers. Understanding this joke also enables the reader 
to understand the comic point in the resurrection of Jesus, which I 
will analyze in the next chapter. That being that the tomb thought 
to be the Messiah's was empty because the corpse had been eaten. 

Even if this interpretation is correct, it is possible that the asser- 
tion that his followers ate the Messiah was simply a fiction created 
by the Romans to denigrate the Jewish messianic movement. I must 
note, however, that the Talmud records that cannibalism was preva- 
lent during Roman sieges and that both Suetonius and Josephus 
confirm that it took place during the siege of Jerusalem. The mes- 
sianic family and their inner circle, which Josephus describes as the 
final holdouts, may well have engaged in the practice. If this in fact 
occurred and was discovered by the Romans, the event provided the 
grim inspiration for the creation of a Christian Messiah who offers 
his flesh to his followers. In any event, the comic system created by 
the New Testament and War of the Jews does make it clear that the 
cannibalism engaged in by the besieged messianic Jews was the basis 
of the Christian concept of a Messiah who offers up his flesh. 

Knowing that the unnamed "certain young man" who was 
"pruned" on the Mount of Olive passages was named "Eleazar," as 
was Mary's unnamed child in War of the Jews, completes a compos- 
ite picture of "Eleazar." Josephus and the New Testament "state" that 
Eleazar could expel demons, was a son of Mary, had his flesh eaten 
as a Passover sacrifice, was captured on the Mount of Olives, was 
stripped naked and scourged, was plotted against by the high 
priests, miraculously escaped death by crucifixion, and "rose" from 
the dead. Further, in the next chapter I will show that Lazarus and 
Jesus also have parallel tombs. Their tombs occur in the same loca- 
tion, at the same time; both have their stones removed and have the 
same burial clothes left behind. 

Eleazar, like Simon and John, had his identity stolen by the 
Romans. He was the historical "Christ" who had been captured on 
the Mount of Olives and "rose" from the dead. As he was only 
human, however, Eleazar could not return to life. 

Note the impact this analysis has on the historicity of "Jesus 
Christ." Was the New Testament character of Jesus based on a real 



124 Caesar's Messiah 

individual? Since the Apostles Simon and John were based on his- 
torical characters, it is therefore possible that Jesus was as well. 

I am certain, however, that even if the New Testament character 
of "Jesus" were based on a historical individual, virtually nothing he 
said and none of the events from his ministry are recorded in the 
New Testament. The authors of the New Testament created their 
character's dialogue and ministry in order to create a "true" prophet, 
one who had "accurately" prophesied events from Titus' triumphant 
campaign. Jesus did not, for example, envision his disciples becom- 
ing "fishers of men" or "eating his flesh." Nor did he see his con- 
temporaries as a "wicked generation" or advocate that they "turn the 
other cheek." Like his "Apostles" Simon and John, the real "Savior 
Messiah" would have been completely in accordance with the mes- 
sianic movement that fought against Rome. He would have been a 
militaristic Zealot. 

At the time the New Testament was being created, the events of 
30 C.E. were 50 years past and of little or no importance to its 
authors. Their focus was solely on Titus' triumph in the recently 
completed war against the Jews. The "Savior" they created was a 
Roman fantasy, a literary figure they used to "prophetically" chasten 
the "wicked generation" and to set up their satire regarding the Mes- 
siah that Titus had "pruned" — Eleazar. If there had been a messianic 
leader named Jesus who ran afoul of the Roman authorities around 
30 C.E., all that is visible of him in the New Testament is his name. 

If Eleazar was the Messiah captured on the Mount of Olives, who 
was the individual who was mistaken for Jesus following his "resur- 
rection"? In the next chapter I will show the method by which the 
New Testament and War of the Jews reveal the identity of the true 
"Jesus" of Christianity, the "gardener." 



CHAPTER 6 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 



The four Gospels each give a different time for the first visit to Jesus' 
tomb, though they all agree that a character named Mary Magdalene 
is the first visitor. The four Gospels also contradict one another 
about whether Mary Magdalene is alone when she first comes to the 
tomb, and about how many individuals are either inside or outside 
the tomb when she arrives. Since I had already realized that there 
was nothing inadvertent in the Gospels, I wondered about the pur- 
pose of these contradictions. My efforts to answer this question led 
me to discover another, more logical, way to understand the New 
Testament stories of Jesus' resurrection than any I had heard of pre- 
viously: that the four different versions create one story that should 
be read intertextually. 

This reading reveals that Jesus does not rise from the dead. 
Rather, Mary Magdalene simply mistakes Lazarus' empty tomb for 
the tomb of Jesus. This misunderstanding then sets off a comedy of 
errors during which the disciples mistake one another for angels and 
thereby delude themselves into believing that their Messiah has 
risen from the dead. This combined story also completes the joke I 
discussed in the previous chapter — that since the real Messiah, 
Lazarus, has been eaten, his tomb is therefore empty. To understand 
this combined story is quite simple, requiring only that the reader 
think logically. 

The four Gospels' depictions of who visits Jesus' empty tomb, 
and when, are as follows: 



125 



126 Caesar's Messiah 

MATTHEW 

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the 
first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other 
Mary to see the sepulchre. 

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the 
angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and 
rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. 

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment 
white as snow: 

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became 
as dead men. 

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear 
not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the 
place where the Lord lay. 

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen 
from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into 
Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear 
and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 

Matt. 28:1-8 

MARK 

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary 
the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, 
that they might come and anoint him. 

And very early in the morning the first day of the week, 
they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. 

And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us 
away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? 

And when they looked, they saw that the stone was 
rolled away: for it was very great. 

And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man 
sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; 
and they were affrighted. 

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek 
Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is 
not here: behold the place where they laid him. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 127 

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he 
goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he 
said unto you. 

And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; 
for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any 
thing to any man; for they were afraid. 

Mark 16:1-8 

LUKE 

Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morn- 
ing, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices 
which they had prepared, and certain others with them. 

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. 

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord 
Jesus. 

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed there- 
about, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to 
the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living 
among the dead? 

He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake 
unto you when he was yet in Galilee, 

Saying, the Son of Man must be delivered into the 
hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise 
again. 

And they remembered his words, 

And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these 
things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. 

It was Mary Magdalene and Joanna, and Mary the 
mother of James, and other women that were with them, 
which told these things unto the Apostles, 

but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they 
did not believe them. 

But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping 
down he saw the linen clothes lying by themselves; and he 
departed, marveling to himself what had happened. 

That very day two of them were going to a village named 
Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking 
with each other about all these things that had happened. 



128 Caesar's Messiah 

While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus 
himself drew near and went with them. 

But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 

And he said to them, "What is this conversation which 
you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they 
stood still, looking sad. 

Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are 
you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the 
things that have happened there in these days?' 

And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to 
him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet 
mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and 
how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be con- 
demned to death, and crucified him. 

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem 
Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since 
this happened. 

Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. 
They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find 
his body; and they came back saying that they had even 
seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 

Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and 
found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see. 

Luke 24:1-24 

JOHN 

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, 
when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the 
stone taken away from the sepulchre. 

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to 
the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, 
They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we 
know not where they have laid him. 

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and 
came to the sepulchre. 

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did 
outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen 
clothes lying; yet went he not in. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 129 

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into 
the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 

And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with 
the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 

Then went in aLso that other disciple, which came first 
to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 

For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must 
rise again from the dead. 

Then the disciples went away again unto their own home 

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she 
wept she stooped to look into the tomb; 

and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body 
of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 

They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She 
said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and 
I do not know where they have laid him." 

Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, 
but she did not know that it was Jesus. 

Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? 
Whom do you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, 
she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me 
where me you have laid him, and I will take him away." 

John 20:1-15 

My analysis revealed that these four versions were intended to 
be read as a single story. This combined story is divided into two 
halves. One half consists of the visits to the tomb described in the 
Gospel of John. The other consists of the visits to the tomb described 
in the other three Gospels. In the combined story the individuals 
described in the Gospel of John meet the individuals described in 
the other three Gospels and, in their emotional state, the different 
groups mistake one another for angels. This comedy of errors causes 
the visitors to the empty tomb to mistakenly believe that their Mes- 
siah has risen from the dead. 

To see how the four versions combine into one continuous story, 
it is first necessary to recognize that the New Testament places the 
contradictory versions in one temporal stream of events, and that 
each version enters this shared stream of events at a different point. 



130 Caesar's Messiah 

The sun's position in the sky places each version of the story in 

sequential order. John's version begins earliest and the events progress 

through Matthew, Mark, and finally Luke. 

This can be determined as follows: 

In John, the first visit occurs while it is "still dark." 

In Matthew, the first visit occurs while the sun "is rising." The 

author specifically uses the present tense. 

Luke and Mark use the Greek words proi 108 and bathus. 109 Both 
mean "early in the morning"; however, in Mark, the superlative 
lian, 110 meaning "extremely" or "beyond measure," is used in con- 
junction with proi. Notice below that in Mark the sun has indeed 
risen when the visit occurs, thus creating the awkward expression 
"the very earliest moment in the morning after the sun had risen." 
Thus, Mark's version begins after Matthew's but before Luke's. 

Below are the related passages in the original Greek with their 
English translations. 

John 20:1 j TT| 6e (Bui on the) (lia ffirsi [dayll TO)V (or chef 
0appaTti)V (week} ^lapta | Mary} Tj (the) fiay8aX.T|Vn, (Magda- 
lene) epxeTat (comes) JipaH (early) fjKOTiat; (dark) ETi (still} 
enxrriq (it being) a<; (io) to (ihe) hvtjpeiov (tomb! kcxi (and) 
pX£7t£i (sees) TOV (the) Xl©OV (stone) r|PH- fV0V I taken away) EJC 
I from | Tot) (the) pvr(p£lou (lomb). 

Matthew 28:1 | oy£ 5e (Now late) CCtPPaTOV TT| Ion sabbath,) 
£TU<JKixncoiK5T[ (as the sun was dawning) 

Mark 16:2 Km (and) XltXV (extremely) jrpG)l (early in the 
morning} TT|<; (on the} pta<; (first day! Occpfkraov [of the week} 
epXOVTCU (they come) E7U [to} to I the) M vr IP£i°V I lomb, | 
avmnXavzoc, (having risen) TOD (the) T\\lQX> (sun). 

Luke 24:1 | TT| 5e {But on the) (11CC (first [day]} TOW (of the) 
cappaxtov opSpou (week) PaOeoc; [early in the morning) TlABov 
[they came) E7CI (to) TO [the| pvrifKX (tomb). 

The relative position of the sun indicates that the four visits do 
not occur simultaneously, but rather within a sequence on the same 
day and within moments of one another. The first visit is the one 
given in John because Mary Magdalene visits Jesus' tomb in the 
dark, while the other three visits occur either during or after sunrise. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 131 

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, 
when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the 
stone taken away from the sepulchre. 

John 20:1 

The fact that Mary Magdalene is described as being in the dark 
not only establishes that this is the beginning of the combined story, 
it is also the start of the comedy. In the dark, Mary sees a tomb that 
has had its stone moved away. Of course, in the dark it is easy to 
make a mistake about whose tomb it is, especially if there is another 
tomb close by that also has had its stone rolled away. In fact, the 
Gospel of John describes just such a tomb. The tomb of Lazarus. 

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was 
a cave, and a stone lay upon it. 

Jesus said, "Take away the stone." 

John 11:38-39 

It is important to note that in the New Testament Lazarus' "res- 
urrection" occurs in the same week as Jesus' burial and in the same 
general location. Bethany, the village where Lazarus lived, was located 
just outside Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives. The New Testament 
also states that Lazarus left behind burial clothes and a soudarion, a 
funeral cloth used to cover the face of the corpse, exactly like those 
found the tomb of Jesus. 

The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with 
bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth [soudarion]. 
Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." 

John 1 1 :44 

I believe that these facts, though they have no theological sig- 
nificance, are included in the New Testament to allow the alert 
reader to understand that the tomb of Lazarus has had its stone 
removed, is adjacent to Jesus' tomb, is empty at the time that Jesus 
is entombed, and has the same burial clothes inside it as those dis- 
covered in Jesus' tomb. In other words, the details indicate that 
Lazarus' tomb is a parallel of Jesus' tomb. 



132 Caesar's Messiah 

Continuing with the version of the visit to the tomb in the 
Gospel of John, Mary Magdalene then informs "Simon Peter" and 
"the other disciple, whom Jesus loved," meaning the Apostle John, 
that Jesus' tomb has had its stone removed. However, notice below 
that it is not "Simon Peter" but "Peter" and the "other disciple" who 
are then described as running to the tomb. The other "disciple" 
arrives first but does not enter the tomb. At this point, not "Peter" 
but "Simon Peter" arrives and is the first person to actually enter the 
tomb and, once inside, sees "the linen clothes lying" and the soudar- 
ion. 111 Notice that the reader's attention is drawn to the linen 
clothes and the soudarion, on three consecutive lines. 

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the 
other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, 
They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we 
know not where they have laid him. 

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and 
came to the sepulchre. 

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did 
outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 

John 20:2-4 

So the author, by including the odd details of the race between 
Peter and the other disciple, creates a moment when there is one indi- 
vidual on the outside of the tomb because, for some reason, after beat- 
ing Peter to the tomb, the other disciple does not enter it but only looks 
in. However, notice that he does inspect the inside of the tomb, so he 
is aware while still on the outside of the tomb that Jesus has "risen." 

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes 
lying; yet went he not in. 

John 20:5 

The author of John now points out that there is a period of time 
during which one person, "Simon Peter," is alone in the tomb 
because the other disciple chooses to wait outside. 

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the 
sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 133 

And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with 
the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 

John 20 6-7 

So "Simon Peter" enters the tomb first and sees the burial clothes 
lying there. Next the author provides another strange detail, that the 
other disciple eventually does enter, creating a moment when the 
two men are alone in the tomb. 

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to 
the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 

John 20:8 

At this point Simon Peter and John return home. 

Then the disciples went away again unto their own home 

John 20:10 

Thus, in the Gospel of John, the sequence of events when Simon 
Peter and John visit the empty tomb is 

First, one individual on the outside of the tomb. 
Second, one individual on the inside of the tomb. 
Third, two individuals inside the tomb. 

Using the time line established by the relative position of the 
sun, the sequence of events, the number and location of the "angels" 
who are inside or outside the tomb, and who greet the visitors in 
Matthew, Mark, and Luke is as follows: 

First, one individual on the outside of the tomb. (Matthew) 
Second, one individual on the inside of the tomb. (Mark) 
Third, two individuals inside the tomb. (Luke) 

Obviously, the sequence of events in John is the same as the 
sequence of the encounters with "angels" in the other three Gospels. 
The time line shown by the relative position of the sun places 
"Simon Peter" and the other disciple at the exact time and location, 
and in the same number, as the first three encounters with the 
"angels" described in the other Gospels. 



134 Caesar's Messiah 

However, there is yet another encounter with "angels" described 
in the New Testament. In the Gospel of John after Simon Peter and 
John return home, a character named "Mary" is described as stand- 
ing outside the tomb weeping. She stoops down and sees two 
"angels" inside the tomb. She then turns and encounters Jesus on 
the outside of the tomb. 

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept 
she stooped to look into the tomb; 

and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body 
of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 

They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She 
said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and 
I do not know where they have laid him." 

Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing. 

John 20:11-14 

If, as I am suggesting, Simon Peter and John are the "angels" 
that Jesus' followers encounter in the visits to the tomb described in 
Matthew, Mark, and Luke, then who are the angels that Mary en- 
counters in the passage above? The Gospel of Luke records that cer- 
tain men "went to the tomb" after having been told by "some 
women of our company" that Jesus' tomb was empty and that they 
saw "angels." 

Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They 
were at the tomb early in the morning 

and did not find his body; and they came back saying 
that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he 
was alive. 

Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and 
found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see. 

Luke 24:22-24 

The author of Luke, for some reason, includes the detail that the 
men who go to the tomb do so only after a visit by women who had 
seen angels. Notice the use of the plural. Only in the final visit to the 
tomb, in Luke, does the group encounter more than one angel. 
Therefore, the visit to the tomb described in Luke could occur only 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 135 

after Simon Peter and John, the "angels" that the first three groups 
encounter, have returned home. This sequence of events ties in per- 
fectly with the details described in the Gospel of Luke. 

Notice that the plural "those" is also used to describe the num- 
ber of men who go to the tomb. This fact is also essential, since the 
Mary described at the final encounter sees two angels. Further, the 
Gospel of Luke points out that those men "did not see" Jesus, which 
correlates with the fact that the angels Mary sees are inside the tomb, 
while Mary meets Jesus outside the tomb. The author discloses these 
facts by including the seemingly irrelevant detail that Mary has to 
look into the tomb to see the angels. 

Therefore, when the four versions of the visits to Jesus' tomb are 
combined into one sequence, they create a version that is perfectly 
logical. As I interpret this combined story, Mary Magdalene, in the 
"dark" (the actual word in the Gospel of John can also mean "reli- 
gious ignorance"), does not find Jesus' tomb but Lazarus'. The 
"angels" who meet the visitors to the tomb are actually Simon Peter 
and John in the first three encounters, and are the men described as 
visitors to the tomb in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus does not rise from 
the dead; his disciples simply delude themselves into believing that 
he does. 

Notice that this interpretation makes coherent all the strange 
details of the "race" between "Simon Peter" and the other disciple as 
well as their odd behavior while at the tomb. For example, it explains 
not only why the other disciple does not go into the tomb when he 
first arrives but also why he looks into the tomb from the outside. 
These details enable him to be alone outside the tomb when the first 
group arrives and also to be "aware" that Jesus has risen so he is then 
able to then pass this news along to the group who encounters him. 
It also explains why the Mary in the Gospel of John sees the angels 
on the inside of the tomb and encounters Jesus on the outside. All 
the seemingly irrelevant details included in the four versions of the 
visits to the tomb are necessary to construct the perfectly logical 
sequence of events in the combined story. 

This fact — that, of the five versions, only the combined version 
is logical — is another example of what I see as the "truth" of the 
New Testament. That is, its authors did not intend the intelligent 



136 Caesar's Messiah 

reader to take it seriously. Individuals who think logically and have 
a sense of humor were intended, at least eventually, to understand 
its comic level. 

The meaning of the combined story is clear. For example, what 
if in our day and age four groups claim to have seen "angels" near a 
cave on the same day and in the following sequence? 

The first group encounters one "angel" outside the cave. 

The next group encounters one "angel" inside the cave. 

Then the third group encounters two "angels" inside the cave. 

Finally, an individual encounters two "angels" inside the cave. 

Though few would believe such stories, if it were then discov- 
ered that other individuals had been either inside or outside the cave 
at the same time, and in the same number and sequence, then such sto- 
ries of seeing "angels" would be universally understood to be prod- 
ucts of overwrought imaginations. 

To me, the only possible meaning of the combined story is that 
the disciples mistake one another for "angels" and thus pass Mary 
Magdalene's error on to one another until they all believe that Jesus 
has risen from the dead. Now, the only question is whether the com- 
bined story was intentionally created. I believe that the authors of 
the New Testament left us a way to answer this. 

If the combined story was intentionally created, it was the prod- 
uct of a single individual or group. The four Gospels, on the other 
hand, present themselves as the products of four separate authors. 
The probability that four authors could accidentally record the state- 
ments of fact necessary to create the combined story can actually be 
computed. The resulting probability demonstrates that the com- 
bined story was not the accidental product of four separate authors 
but was deliberately created. 

At first glance, the perfect fit that exists in the combined story 
may not seem extraordinary. After all, it is made up of only four ele- 
ments — these being the position of the sun; visitors looking or not 
looking into the tomb; either zero, one, or two characters being 
present; and the encounter occurring either inside or outside the 
tomb. However, when one determines the probability of any partic- 
ular sequence, the length of the sequence can be more important 
than the unusualness of the individual events within it. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 137 

I believe that the authors of the New Testament were aware of 
this principle and use it here as a way of communicating to the edu- 
cated reader that the combined story is the correct interpretation of 
the story of Jesus' resurrection. The truth is communicated using a 
mathematical rather than a verbal language, so that it could not be 
seen by the ignorant. 

If Titus had designed the New Testament to satirically disclose 
that he was "Jesus," he would have wished there to be some way to 
confirm that its satirical dimension was correct. With their crude 
system of numbers the Romans could not do any higher math; how- 
ever, they were great gamblers and knew odds well. So the authors 
made sure that the odds that the combined story was accidentally 
created were both able to be calculated and too small for an intelli- 
gent person to take seriously. 

To clarify how the odds on the combined story can be calcu- 
lated, I have edited the four Gospels' versions of the first visit to 
Jesus' tomb into the comic combined version, in which all the ele- 
ments in the four stories fit together without contradiction. 

The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, 
when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the 
stone taken away from the sepulchre. 

Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to 
the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, 
They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we 
know not where they have laid him. 

Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and 
came to the sepulchre. 

So they ran both together: and the other disciple did 
outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. 

And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen 
clothes lying; yet went he not in. 112 

So the author of John has created a moment when there is a sin- 
gle man outside the tomb. In Matthew there is also such a moment, 
which occurs second in the temporal sequence, when the sun is said 
to be "dawning." 



138 Caesar's Messiah 

In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the 
first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other 
Mary to see the sepulchre. 

And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the 
angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and 
rolled back the stone from the door, and was sitting upon it. 

Matt. 28:2 

The Greek word, seismos, translated in the passage above as 
"earthquake" is more commonly used to describe simply a shaking or 
a commotion. 113 Within the comic interpretation it simply describes 
the shaking of the ground caused by the running of the disciples. 

His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white 
as snow: 

And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became 
as dead men. 

And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear 
not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 

He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the 
place where the Lord lay. 

And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen 
from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into 
Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. 

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear 
and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 

Matt. 28:8 

The author then states that Simon Peter, not Peter, arrived at the 
tomb. 

Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the 
sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie. 

John 20:6 

Notice that the "other disciple" does not go into the tomb but 
that Simon Peter does, creating a period when there is a single visi- 
tor, Simon Peter, in the tomb. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 139 

And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the 
linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 

John 20:7 

Very early in the morning, on the first day of the week, they 
came to the tomb when the sun had risen. 

Mark 16:2 

This group of women encounters a single man (Simon Peter) 
who tells them that Jesus has arisen. 

And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sit- 
ting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and 
they were affrighted. 

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek 
Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is 
not here: behold the place where they laid him. 

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he 
goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he 
said unto you. 

Mark 16:5-7 

Thus, a single individual in the tomb tells the women to "tell his 
disciples' and, specifically, to tell "Peter," that Jesus "goeth before 
you" in Galilee. Notice that this is yet another binary chance. If the 
"angel" had instructed the women to tell "Simon Peter" and not 
"Peter" then the logical linkage between the version in John and the 
other three would be destroyed. 

In other words, within the combined version of the story this 
individual can only be "Simon Peter" and it would be, thus, contra- 
dictory for him to instruct the disciples to give a message to himself. 
However, it is not contradictory for Simon Peter to give a message to 
"Peter" if "Simon Peter" and "Peter" are different individuals. The 
author provides two methods by which a logical reader can learn 
that "Simon Peter" and "Peter" are separate characters. 

One method the author uses to reveal that "Peter" and "Simon 
Peter" are separate individuals is having the version of the visit to 
the tomb given in Mark, where the single "young man" asks the group 



140 Caesar's Messiah 

of women to tell "Peter" that Jesus has "risen," occur later in the day 
than the version of the visit to the tomb given in John, in which the 
first person to go into the tomb is "Simon Peter." These facts create 
the following logical progression: 

In the Gospel of John, which begins earliest, "Simon Peter" is 
the first person to enter the tomb. 

The "young man" in the tomb tells Mary Magdalene to tell 
"Peter" that Jesus has risen, showing that "Peter" has not been in the 
tomb yet. 

Therefore, "Simon Peter" cannot be "Peter." 

The logical reader will identify the single individual who the 
group encounters in the tomb as the only person who has been 
described as being in the tomb alone, that is, "Simon Peter." 

Moreover, in the Gospel of Luke, the character named "Peter" 
does not go into the tomb when he first comes to it but only looks 
into it, whereas in the Gospel of John, the character named "Simon 
Peter" enters the tomb when he first comes to it. The reader has a 
choice: either accept a physical impossibility, that an individual both 
went in and not did not go in the tomb, or recognize that "Peter" 
and "Simon Peter" are separate characters. As I show below, this is 
the same method that the author uses to reveal that "Mary Magda- 
lene" is the name of more than one character. 

Continuing with the analysis of the combined version, the 
group that came to anoint Jesus having left, the "other disciple" then 
enters the tomb. At this point there are two men inside the tomb. 

Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to 
the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 

John 20:8 

Another group of women appears and encounters two men 
inside the tomb, "Simon Peter" and the "other disciple." 

Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, 
they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb 
bringing the spices which they had prepared. 

And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord 
Jesus. 



The Puzzle of the Empty To mh 141 

And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed there- 
about, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to 
the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living 
among the dead? 

Luke 24:1-5 

Jesus' followers, who visit the empty tomb, are thus deluded and 
then spread to the other disciples the misunderstanding that Jesus 
has risen from the dead. Notice how the author sets up the idea that 
the visitors to the tomb are irrational by his descriptions of their 
emotions and behaviors. They are shown as running wildly, 
"affrighted," "weeping," "perplexed," "trembling," and "bow[ing] 
down their faces to the earth." Within the Flavian court, these would 
have been seen as the behaviors and emotions of the messianic Jews, 
who, from their perspective, were religious madmen who had 
deluded themselves into believing that the dead could rise. 

Having finished greeting the three sets of visitors, Simon Peter 
and John return home. 

Then the disciples went away again to their homes. 

John 20:10 

At this point in the combined story the pattern reverses itself. 
Instead of characters within the other Gospels encountering "angels" 
from the Gospel of John, a character from the Gospel of John 
encounters "angels" who are from the Gospel of Luke. 

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept 
she stooped to look into the tomb; 

and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body 
of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. 

They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She 
said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and 
I do not know where they have laid him." 

Saying this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing, 

John 20:11-14 

The "angels" (plural) Mary encounters above are "logically" the 
men (plural), described in Luke, who go to the tomb after being told 



142 Caesar's Messiah 

that Jesus has risen by a group of women who had seen "angels." 
Notice below that the men do not see Jesus, matching the fact that 
the "angels" Mary encounters are inside the tomb and her encounter 
with Jesus is outside the tomb. 

Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They 
were at the tomb early in the morning 

and did not find his body; and they came back saying 
that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he 
was alive. 

Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and 
found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see. 

Luke 24:22-24 

It is thus possible to create a combined story out of the four dif- 
ferent versions of the first visit to Jesus' tomb that has a different 
meaning than the individual versions and is without contradiction. 
None of the statements of fact that make up its story line contradict 
any other within the combined story The combined story is logical, 
whereas the different versions are contradictory. The authors' inge- 
niousness deserves note. Their puzzle is constructed so that readers 
who are illogical will believe that the passages indicate that Jesus 
rose from the dead, while those who are logical will see the passages 
as a comedy of errors. 

Moreover, the authors have deliberately made it possible to 
compute the probability that the perfect fit between the sequence of 
events within the Gospel of John and the other three Gospels has 
occurred by chance. This can be done by use of what I refer to as the 
"chain of multiplication." This method is used, for example, to ensure 
that slot machines are profitable for their owners. If a slot machine 
pays a 1,000-to-one payoff for displaying five cherries in a row, the 
likelihood of this occurring must be less than 1,000 to one for the 
machine to be profitable. To create the impression that five sequen- 
tial cherries is "likely" such machines will often have the desired 
symbol occur in individual slots relatively often, say once in every 
three pulls. However, one slot will display the symbol rarely, say 
once in 100 pulls. Thus, the chain of multiplication to determine 
such a machine's chances of displaying five cherries would be 3 x 3 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 143 

x 3 x 3 x 100, which would give the gambler one chance in 9,100 of 
hitting the 1,000-to-one jackpot. 

If four distinct authors have each created different versions of 
the first visit to the tomb, then each author has accidentally recorded 
different facts. For example, in the Gospel of John the author 
records that the first visit occurs in the dark. Whereas in Luke the 
author records that the sun has risen before Mary Magdalene comes 
to the tomb. However, for the combined story to have its perfect log- 
ical and temporal sequence the author of the Gospel of John can only 
select the position of the sun that indicates that his version begins 
earliest, which he has only one chance in four of doing. Likewise, 
each of the authors of the other three Gospels has only one chance in 
four of accidentally describing his "first visit" as occurring at the next 
point within the sequence. Thus, the odds of four distinct authors 
accidentally describing their versions beginning with John's, then 
Matthew's, followed by Mark's, and finally Luke's are 4 X 4 X 4 X 4, 
or one chance in 256. 

Notice that this sequence is not accounted for because the four 
authors all reflect a shared tradition, since the sequence is created by 
the differences among the four versions, not their similarities. A 
shared tradition would, if anything, make it less likely that the four 
authors would each give a different time for the first visit. A shared 
tradition is likewise implausible as an explanation for the logical 
relationship between any of the elements within the sequence, since 
the logical fit is created by the different facts that the four Gospels 
use to describe the first visit. Combining their contradictory state- 
ments of fact creates the perfect logical fit between the events in the 
Gospel of John and the other three Gospels; therefore, their rela- 
tionship cannot be explained away by suggesting that the four dif- 
ferent authors might have shared a common source. 

Bear in mind that if even one fact in the four versions were dif- 
ferent from what it is, this would destroy the logical sequence 
between the Gospel of John and the other three Gospels. For exam- 
ple, if the author of Matthew, the Gospel whose position of the sun 
indicates that its visitors have come directly after John's, had recorded 
that the first visitors encountered not one but two angels, then the 
combined story would become contradictory. This is because this 



144 Caesar's Messiah 

description would then not match the one in John, which states that 
one disciple arrived first. Therefore, the probability that the author 
of Matthew accidentally records that the first visitors encounter only 
one angel and not, as found within the other Gospels, zero or two, 
is one chance in three. And that probability becomes an element in 
a "chain of multiplication" for the entire sequence of events. 

The following are the statements of fact that four distinct authors 
would have to accidentally record to produce the perfect sequence 
of events between the Gospel of John and the other three Gospels. I 
have included the lowest odds of each event being recorded by a par- 
ticular author — for example, events four and five below, where the 
author of John mentions that the disciple looked into the empty 
tomb but did not go into it. It can be argued that the odds of this 
irrelevant detail even being mentioned at this point are far higher 
than one chance in two. Nevertheless, I give only the binary possi- 
bility that is, the author could either record that the disciple did or 
did not look in. 

1) The sun must indicate that "Mary" comes first to the tomb in 
the version given in the Gospel of John. One chance in four. 

2) Mary must encounter no angels during her first visit to the 
tomb in the Gospel of John. One chance in three. 

3) The other disciple must reach the tomb first, not Peter. One 
chance in two. 

4) The other disciple must not go in. One chance in two. 

5) The disciple must look in. One chance in two. 

6) Simon Peter, not Peter or the other disciple, must be the one 
who arrives second at the tomb. One chance in three. 

7) He must go in alone. One chance in two. 

8) The other disciple must go into the tomb after Simon Peter. 
One chance in two. 

9) The sun must indicate that "Mary" comes to the tomb second 
in the version given in the Gospel of Matthew. One chance in four. 

10) The group described in Matthew must encounter one angel. 
One chance in three. 

11) The angel in Matthew must be outside the tomb. One 
chance in two. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 145 

12) The sun must indicate that "Mary" comes to the tomb next 
in the version given in the Gospel of Mark. One chance in four. 

13) The group from Matthew must encounter one angel. One 
chance in three. 

14) The group from Matthew must encounter the angel inside 
the tomb. One chance in two. 

15) The sun must indicate that "Mary" comes to the tomb last 
in the version given in the Gospel of Luke. One chance in four. 

16) The group described in Luke must discover the angels 
inside the tomb. One chance in two. 

17) This group must encounter two angels. One chance in three. 

18) The angel must request that "Peter" not "Simon Peter," be 
told. One chance in two. 

19) The "Mary" who stands outside weeping in John must 
encounter two "angels," because the plural is used in Luke to 
describe "those" who go to the tomb. One chance in two. 

20) The angels Mary sees must be inside the tomb, because 
those who go to the tomb in Luke are described as not seeing Jesus. 
One chance in two. 

21) Mary must encounter Jesus outside the tomb. One chance 
in two. 

Thus, the chain of multiplication to determine the probability 
that four distinct authors could record these exact facts by chance 
would be: 

4X3X2X2X2X3X2X2X4X3X2X4X3X2X4X2 
X3X2 

which equals one chance in 254,803,968. 

This demonstrates that four distinct authors did not create the 
combined story by chance and that it was, therefore, intentionally 
created. This proof is just as conclusive as, for example, the DNA 
probabilities that are used in our day and age to match the blood left 
at a crime scene with that of a suspect. In fact, DNA probabilities are 
determined using an approach similar to the one above. 

My theory is also solid in the sense that it is so easily disprovable. 
In other words, specialists in probability can easily demonstrate any 
errors in my premises or conclusion. In fact, any curious reader can 
simply retrace my steps and come to an independent judgment. 



146 Caesar's Messiah 

In any event, the combined version of the four stories is so obvi- 
ous that it is reasonable to ask why no one noticed it before. The 
answer is that the contradictions within the four passages are 
designed to hide the combined version. These contradictions must 
be resolved before one can easily see the comic version that the four 
passages create. The authors were, in effect, demanding that the 
reader be logical before being permitted to see the truth. 

Other than the contradiction involving "Simon Peter" and 
"Peter" mentioned above, all the apparent contradictions between 
the four different versions of the first visit to Jesus' tomb involve a 
character named Mary Magdalene. Within the four versions of the 
story she is said to arrive at the tomb at four different times and with 
different people, to have touched and not touched Jesus, and to have 
told and not told the disciples that the tomb was empty — all logical 
impossibilities. 

However, if the female characters in the four versions of the visit 
to the tomb were not all named Mary Magdalene, but were each 
given a different name, say, Mary, Ruth, Ester, and Elizabeth, then 
these contradictions would not exist and the comic relationship 
between the version in John, where the two disciples race to the 
tomb, and the other versions, where the visitors encounter "angels," 
would have become visible. In fact, as readers can ascertain for 
themselves, the comic version would become all too apparent and 
Christianity might not be a worldwide religion today. Thus, Chris- 
tianity's very viability can be said to depend on the notion that all 
the characters named "Mary Magdalene" in the New Testament are 
the same individual. 

However, it is not possible that all the "Mary Magdalenes" in the 
four Gospels are the same person. The authors create two methods 
that enable any logical reader to determine this. First, as noted above, 
it is physically impossible for a single "Mary Magdalene" to do every 
thing ascribed to her in the four stories. Mary Magdalene cannot 
"first" visit the tomb at different times. She cannot both be telling 
Simon Peter that the tomb has had its stone rolled away and at the 
same time be coming with spices to anoint Jesus. Also, each of the 
first visits she makes to the tomb is with different individuals, 
another physical impossibility. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 147 

Further, the Mary Magdalene in the Gospel of Mark, who is told 
to tell "Peter" that Jesus has risen, is said to have told no one. How- 
ever, the Mary Magdalenes in Luke and Mark do tell the disciples 
that he has risen; therefore, logically, neither can be the "Mary Mag- 
dalene" in Mark. Likewise, the Mary Magdalene in John cannot be 
the Mary Magdalene in Matthew, because the Mary in John is not 
permitted to touch Jesus whereas in Matthew she is described as 
clinging to his feet. Therefore, a rational reader must conclude that 
each Mary Magdalene is a distinct character. 114 

The illogical reader — that is, the one who takes the New Testa- 
ment "seriously" and therefore sees Jesus as divine — must accept the 
contradictions that the four versions of the first visit to Jesus' tomb 
create. Such a reader accepts that Mary Magdalene first visits the 
tomb at different times and with different people, that she both 
touches and does not touch Jesus, and that she both tells and does 
not tell the disciples that Jesus has arisen. The authors of the 
Gospels may have believed that such a reader deserves, and perhaps 
even needs, "Jesus." 

For the logical reader, who understands that each "Mary Mag- 
dalene" must be a separate character, these contradictions are resolved. 
The contradictions regarding the time of the first visit, the different 
number of people in the group that visits the tomb "first," as well as 
how many "angels" the different groups find near the tomb, are all 
resolved by this single insight. As are the contradictions of Mary 
Magdalene's touching and not touching Jesus, and her telling and 
not telling the disciples that Jesus has risen. This single insight allows 
the truth, that is, the combined version, to be seen. 

Moreover, "Mary Magdalene," like "Jesus Christ," can also be 
seen as a title, not just a name. Mary Magdalene means simply Mary 
from Magdala, a town in Galilee. From the Roman perspective, any 
rebellious female — that is, any "Mary" — from Magdala would be a 
Mary Magdalene. 

The point that the authors wish the logical reader to understand 
here is simply that the same name can be given to more than one 
person. The authors of the New Testament constructed the puzzle of 
the empty tomb in such a way that its solution, the realization that 
more than one character is being referred to by the same name, is 



148 Caesar's Messiah 

also the solution to understanding the New Testament itself. There 
can be more than one Mary Magdalene, and, therefore, there can be 
more than one Jesus. 

The notion that the New Testament is referring to more than 
one individual as "Jesus," while seemingly far-fetched, is actually the 
only way to resolve the contradictory facts within it. In fact, as with 
"Mary Magdalene" the authors made it logically impossible for the 
"Jesuses" described in the four Gospels to have been the same per- 
son. And, as I have shown, logic, memory and derisive humor are 
the prerequisites the authors of the New Testament require of a 
reader to understand its truth. One way in which the New Testament 
reveals that there is more than one "Jesus" is the different genealo- 
gies for the Jesuses in Matthew and Luke, Since there is nothing 
inadvertent within the New Testament, two distinct genealogies 
would indicate, of course, two distinct individuals. 

Likewise, the Jesus who is crucified in the Gospel of John could 
not be the Jesus who is crucified in any of the Synoptic Gospels, 
because he is crucified on the day before Passover, whereas the all 
the other Jesuses are crucified on Passover itself. Also, each of the 
Jesuses in the four Gospels has a group of disciples with slightly dif- 
ferent names. And, of course, nowhere in the Gospels is there a 
physical description of Jesus. 

One of the reasons that the comic element of the many Jesuses 
was not noticed previously is that early in Christian history a redac- 
tor made an editorial change to the name of the New Testament 
character known today as Barabbas. Barabbas is a composite word 
made up from the Hebrew bar (son) and abba (father), which is to 
say "son of the Father." While the character is known today simply 
as Barabbas, this was not his name in the version of the New Testa- 
ment early church scholars were familiar with. We know from Ori- 
gen (c. 250 C.E.) and others 115 that the versions of the New Testa- 
ment they were familiar with referred to this character as not as 
Barabbas but as Jesus Barabbas. 

Origen wrote concerning his dismay over the fact that the name 
of the criminal when Jesus was imprisoned with was "Jesus Barab- 
bas," that is, Jesus, the son of the Father. Although he did not rec- 
ognize the name as humorous, he sensed intuitively that there was 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 149 

something wrong with Jesus' cellmate having a name so similar to 
his own. This concern was evidently shared by later church officials 
because all the earliest extant copies of the New Testament (Sinaiticus, 
Alexandrinus, Vaticanus) refer to this character only as Barabbas. 
However, based on modern scholarship, both the New English Bible 
and the Scholar's Version 116 have decided to give Jesus Barabbas as 
the name of this character in their translations. 

In such a translation, the purpose of the character named Jesus 
Barabbas becomes clear. The New Testament is flatly stating that 
there was more than one "Jesus." Notice the humor in Pilate's state- 
ment below, "I will therefore chastise him and release him." The joke 
being that it is impossible to know which "Jesus" Pilate is referring 
to as "him." 

Notice also that, just as they were at the empty tomb, the Jews 
are characterized as being highly emotional. The humor derives from 
the idea that in such a state they cannot tell one "Jesus" from the other. 

But they all cried out together, "Away with this man, and 
release to us Jesus Barabbas" — 

a man who had been thrown into prison for an insur- 
rection started in the city, and for murder. 

Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release 
Jesus; 

but they shouted out, "Crucify, crucify him!'" 

A third time he said to them, "Why, what evil has he done? 
I have found in him no crime deserving death; I will there- 
fore chastise him and release him." 

But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that 
he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 

So Pilate gave sentence that their demand should be 
granted. 

Luke 23:18-24 

In each of the Gospels, following the "resurrection," the disci- 
ples are described as encountering a character named Jesus. How- 
ever, the dead cannot come back to life. The authors of the Gospels 
are simply continuing the joke that starts with the disciples mistak- 



150 Caesar's Messiah 

ing one another for angels in the empty tomb of Lazarus. Each Gos- 
pel comically reveals that the individual the disciples believe to be 
the resurrected Messiah is different from the one who was crucified, 
by repeatedly stating that they could not recognize the "resurrected" 
Jesus. The related passages follow. 

When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some 
doubted. 

Matt. 28:17 

After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as 
they were walking into the country. 

Mark 16:12 

But they were terrified and frightened and supposed they 
had seen a spirit. 

Luke 24:37 

While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus 
himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were 
kept from recognizing him. 

Luke 24:16 

Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the 
disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 

John 21:4 

In John 20:15 below, Mary Magdalene is also unable to recog- 
nize Jesus and confuses him with a "gardener." This passage is a part 
of the "root and branch" element of humor, which centers around 
Titus "pruning" the Jewish Messiah Eleazar, who was "carried away" 
on the Mount of Olives. 

This episode is the prophetic and comic climax of the New Tes- 
tament. It is the moment that "foresees" Titus switching himself for 
the Jewish Messiah — which actually occurs in John 21. That is 
when, following his killing of "Jesus," Titus begins to be the "Jesus" 
of Christianity. A reader who is able to understand the following 
"prophecy" regarding Titus has essentially solved the central puzzle 
of the New Testament and War of the Jews. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 151 

Notice the brilliant irony in Mary's mistaking the Messiah for a 
"gardener" and asking if he has "carried him away." This is exactly 
what happens to Eleazar, who is "carried away" by a "gardener" on 
the Mount of Olives. The authors have Mary mistake the individual 
for a gardener because this creates a satirical prediction of what in 
fact has already occurred. The truth is a mirror image of the surface 
narration. While Jesus is mistaken for a gardener who has not "car- 
ried the Messiah away" Titus becomes a "gardener" who is mistaken 
for Jesus and who carries away the Messiah. 

Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do 
you seek?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to 
him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you 
have laid him, and I will take him away." 

Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him 
in Hebrew, "Rab-boni!" (which means teacher). 

John 20:15-16 

The following passage from War of the Jews reveals why Titus 
finds it necessary to create a religion that worships him without its 
members knowing it. Titus' problem is that the Sicarii refuse to call 
him Lord, even after being tortured. To circumvent this stubborn- 
ness, Titus simply switches himself into the Jew's Messiah. The ulti- 
mate joke of Christianity is that it causes Jews to call Caesar Lord 
without their knowing it. The passage also contains another element 
of Christianity evidently stolen from the Sicarii movement, that of 
its members rejoicing while being tortured for refusing to renounce 
their faith. 

... (The Sicarii) whose courage, or whether we ought to call 
it madness, or hardiness in their opinions, every body was 
amazed at. For when all sorts of torments and vexations of 
their bodies that could be devised were made use of to 
them, they could not get any one of them to comply so far 
as to confess, or seem to confess, that Caesar was their 
lord; but they preserved their own opinion, in spite of all the 
distress they were brought to, as if they received these tor- 
ments and the fire itself with bodies insensible of pain, and 



152 Caesar's Messiah 

with a soul that in a manner rejoiced under them. But what 
was most of all astonishing to the beholders was the 
courage of the children; for not one of these children was 
so far overcome by these torments, as to name Caesar for 
their lord. So far does the strength of the courage [of the 
soul] prevail over the weakness of the body. 117 

The switching of Titus with Jesus occurs in John 21. The chap- 
ter begins with Jesus coming to the Sea of Galilee in the morning, 
where he "showed" himself to his disciples. The disciples are 
described as being unable to recognize Jesus from the small boat in 
which they have spent the night. Jesus instructs them to "cast the 
net" after which they haul in a "multitude of fish." Being informed 
that it is "the Lord," Simon swims ashore, where he and the disci- 
ples eat "bread" and "fish" with Jesus, who then prophesies that 
Simon will be put to death but that John will be spared. 

After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the dis- 
ciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed 
Himself: 

Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of 
Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His 
disciples were together. 

Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They 
said to him, "We are going with you also." They went out and 
immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught 
nothing. 

But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on 
the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 

Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any 
food?" They answered Him, "No." 

And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of 
the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they 
were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. 

Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, 
"It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was 
the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he was naked), 
and plunged into the sea. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 153 

But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they 
were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits], 
dragging the net with fish. 

Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire 
of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. 

Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you 
have just caught." 

Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full 
of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although 
there were so many, the net was not broken. 

Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none 
of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" — knowing 
that it was the Lord. 

Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to 
them, and likewise the fish. 

This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His 
disciples after He was raised from the dead. 

John 21:1-14 

This story of the disciples catching "fish" shares a number of 
parallels with the passage in War of the Jews that describes the Romans 
catching Jews like fish on the Sea of Galilee, which I have discussed 
previously. In that passage Josephus describes a band of rebels led by 
a Jesus, the son of Shaphat. 

This Jesus leads a sally against the Romans. In response, Ves- 
pasian orders Titus to take a force and counterattack Jesus and his 
band. Before the battle, Titus delivers the speech in which he 
describes the coming battle as "my onset." He then attacks the Jews 
with his troops and routs them. Some of the Jews, however, escape 
to their boats on the Sea of Galilee (Josephus describes these boats as 
"small,") where they spend the night. The next morning, Titus orders 
his soldiers to construct boats to attack the Jews. In the ensuing sea 
battle, the Romans catch Jews like fish. Following the battle Josephus 
describes the dead bodies of the Jews giving off a terrible stink. 118 

The following diagram is presented for clarification of the par- 
allels between Josephus' "sea battle" passage and John 21: 



154 Caesar's Messiah 

1. Both passages describe the followers of a "Jesus" who spend 
the night in a small boat. 

2. Both passages describe a "catching" that occurs the following 
morning. 

3. Each passage occurs on the Sea of Galilee (Tiberias). 

4. Jesus and Titus share the previously noted collection of par- 
allels in John 21 involving the condemning of "Simon" and the spar- 
ing of "John." 

The parallels work to give a typological and satirical meaning to 
John 21, one that should not be difficult for the reader to see at this 
point. Indeed, if Jesus were to say to his disciples to "cast a net" and 
become "fishers of men" in John 21, then the satirical relationship 
between that passage and Josephus' description of the sea battle 
becomes too obvious to overlook. The fact that Jesus makes this 
prophecy earlier in his ministry does not make its implications any 
less clear — particularly in light of the fact that the group that he 
instructs to "cast a net" in John 21 contains Simon, James, and John, 
the same individuals he has predicted would "henceforth" become 
"catchers of men" earlier in his ministry. 

Once again, the authors of the New Testament are testing the 
memory of the reader. Only the reader with a good memory will 
recall that it is Simon and the "sons of Zeb'edee" whom Jesus has 
earlier predicted would "henceforth" be "catching men." And only 
such a reader will recall that Jesus made this prophecy regarding 
"catching men" while standing on the very beach where Titus stands 
while his soldiers catch Jews like fish. 

Notice that the author indicates only that the events of John 21 
take place "after these things" — that is, after Jesus' crucifixion. In 
other words, the events of John 21 could have occurred at any time 
following the crucifixion and can be understood as being contem- 
poraneous with the events of the parallel "fishing" passage from War 
of the Jews. With this clever device the authors unify the time frames 
of the Gospels and War of the Jews. John 21 is intended to be under- 
stood as both an event from the life of a Jewish Messiah circa 30 C.E. 
and a depiction, albeit satirical, of Titus' sea battle with the messianic 
Galilean fishermen. The passage can be read both as the end of the 
story of one savior of Israel and the beginning of the story of another. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 155 

As with the different Gospels that form the puzzle of the empty 
tomb, John 21 and the "catching passage" from War of the Jews are 
designed to be interactive. And, again, their interaction creates a 
story different from the benign one that appears on the surface. John 
21 interacts with Josephus' "catching" passage to create a satire indi- 
cating that the confused followers of Jesus mistake Titus for the 
Lord. 

The "Jesus" they follow, "Jesus, the son of Shaphat, the princi- 
pal head of a band of robbers," is not on the beach because Titus has 
killed him. Josephus records his death in the passage, stating that: 
"Titus had slain the authors of this revolt," clearly indicating Jesus. 

Therefore the "Jesus" that the disciples follow no longer exists 
and they mistake Titus for their Lord — "Jesus stood on the shore; yet 
the disciples did not know that it was Jesus." Thus deluded, the dis- 
ciples then do Titus' bidding, helping the Romans capture the Jew- 
ish rebels swimming in the Sea of Tiberias by "casting their net." The 
satire is a perfect synopsis of the real intent of Christianity, which is 
to "convert" the followers of the Jewish Messiah into followers of 
Caesar without their knowing it. 

Having achieved his goal, Titus, the "Lord," then sits down with 
his new "disciples" for a breakfast of "bread" and "fish." The words 
"bread" and "fish" are, as I have shown, both used as synonyms for 
human flesh in the New Testament. 

Notice the authors witticism. The disciples don't ask his name — 
which would give away the fact that his name is Titus — but "know" 
that he is the "Lord." 

Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of 
the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" — Knowing that 
it was the Lord. 

Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to 
them, and likewise the fish. 

This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His 
disciples after He was raised from the dead. 

The interaction between the New Testament and War of the Jews 
identifies the "fish" that Titus served to his new disciples in John 21 
as the "putrefied" bodies of the "fish" killed by the Romans during 



156 Caesar's Messiah 

the battle mentioned above. This putrid smell of the "fish" on the 
beach parallels the stench recorded in the other passages of canni- 
balism — the tomb of Lazarus in the New Testament and Mary's son 
in War of the Jews. 

And a terrible stink, and a very sad sight there was on the 
following days over that country; for as for the shores, they 
were full of shipwrecks, and of dead bodies all swelled; and 
as the dead bodies were inflamed by the sun, and putrefied, 
they corrupted the air. 

And the "bread" that the disciples eat is also identified in the 
New Testament. It is the flesh of the Messiah who was "raised from 
the dead." Notice how clear an example the following passage is of 
Jesus' seemingly symbolic statements taking on a comic meaning 
when read literally. 

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If 
anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread 
that I shall give is my flesh, which I shall give for the life of 
the world." 

The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, say- 
ing, "How can this Man give us his flesh to eat?" 

Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, 
unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his life 
blood, you shall have no life in you." 

John 6:51-53 

To make clear that it is the body of the "Son of Man" that the 
disciples are feasting on, John 21 states that this is "the third time 
Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the 
dead." The author is including this detail at this point because the 
"Jesus" who actually rose "from the dead" was Lazarus, who "showed 
himself to the disciples twice previously, first at his "resurrection" 
and then again at the "feast of Lazarus." The disciples are being sat- 
irized as unwittingly feeding on the Messiah's body. The joke regard- 
ing "bread" in John 21 is that they are eating from the same "loaf 
that was eaten during the "feast of Lazarus" above. 



The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 157 

I would note that the analysis above has implications for the 
sacrament of Communion. It suggests that the Romans deliberately 
created the ritual as a cruel joke on Christians. 

In any event, the humor that the Romans created regarding the 
cannibalism of the messianic Jews evidently springs from the irony 
they saw in a people with such strict dietary laws eating rancid 
human flesh. The irony of the Jews, a people too fastidious to eat 
pork, eating human flesh would have been widely understood within 
the patrician class when War of the Jews was written. The satirist 
Juvenal, for example, referred to it without providing any context. 

Some, whose Lot it has been to have Sabbath fearing fathers, 
Worship nothing but clouds and the numen of heavens, 
And see no difference between the flesh of swine and 

humans 

Since their fathers abstained from pork. 119 

The two "Jesuses" who are on the beach when the Romans catch 
Jews in the Sea of Galilee, Titus and Jesus the Son of Shaphat, are 
simply the final Jesuses within another comic turn. All the Jesuses 
encountered after the resurrection are different individuals. As they 
have done with the various "Mary Magdalenes" the authors include 
seemingly irrelevant details in each Gospel that make it logically 
impossible for any of the four Jesuses encountered after the "resur- 
rection" to have been the same individual. 

In Matthew, the Jesus encountered by his disciples does not 
ascend to Heaven, instead saying to his followers, "I am with you 
always." In Mark, however, Jesus is described as ascending to heaven, 
just as he is in the Gospel of Luke. Though these two ascension sto- 
ries appear identical, in fact they take place at different locations. The 
authors reveal this in an earlier passage in Mark (Mark 14:28). This 
passage indicates that Jesus will meet with his disciples in Galilee, 
obviously some days following his resurrection, whereas the ascen- 
sion in Luke occurs just outside Jerusalem on the same day as the 
resurrection. Finally, the Jesus in John meets with a different number 
of disciples following the resurrection, a different number of times, 
and at a location different from the ones in the other three Gospels. 



158 Caesar's Messiah 

The authors of the Gospels designed their creation to be per- 
fectly logical. Whenever two events seem to contradict each another, 
the reader needs to recognize that he or she is reading incorrectly. 
That is to say, that he or she is making an incorrect assumption. In 
this case, the incorrect assumption is that all the Jesuses in the 
Gospels are the same individual. Simply changing that assumption 
makes the Gospels become "true" — that is, without contradiction. 

However, who do the disciples encounter at the conclusions of 
Matthew, Mark, and Luke if not the Jesus who was crucified? Just as 
the authors have identified whose empty tomb Mary Magdalene dis- 
covers — with its stone "rolled away" — before she comes across it in 
the dark, the authors have already given the reader this information. 
The Jesuses depicted at the conclusion of the Synoptics are the three 
Jesuses whom Pilate has previously released, Jesus Barabbas. 

As the New Testament's final comic stroke, each Gospel concludes 
with a different individual as its Jesus. Of course, the final Jesus is 
the one described in John 21, the very end of the Gospels. That Jesus 
is Titus, the "true" Son of God whom Christianity worships. 

I suspect that the herd of Jesuses roaming about at the conclu- 
sions of the four Gospels are a joke reflecting the fact that there were 
numerous individuals claiming to be the Messiah during this era, a 
fact that is recorded in both the New Testament and War of the Jews. 
The authors of the New Testament are perhaps comically making the 
point that, since there are already so many "Messiahs," or "Christs," 
there is no reason why Titus could not be one as well. 

Finally, a question I found interesting is whether the authors 
intended to put forth the "combined version" of the visit to the 
empty tomb and the revelation that Jesus did not rise from the dead 
as a philosophical statement advocating reason over religious mysti- 
cism. The reader must resolve those logical contradictions; if he or 
she fails, the punishment is belief in a false god. 

It is possible that the authors of the Gospels created them as a 
sort of educational tool disguised as a narrative about Jesus. The 
authors may have wished their readers to work through the various 
contradictions in logic in order to develop their reasoning ability 
and thus be able to think their way out of religious superstition. 
They may have wished the Gospels to be seen by posterity as their 
contribution to the development of reason. 



CHAPTER 7 



The New Root and Branch 



Having shown the methods that the Romans used to satirically com- 
municate the real history of their struggle with the messianic Jews, 
I can now present the most complex of their works. The reader will 
recognize that I have already touched on many of the passages that 
make up this satire. These separate elements were designed to be 
linked together to create a larger intertextual story. 

I refer to this satire as the "new root and branch." It is a vast lit- 
erary device coursing through the Gospels and three of Josephus' 
books. Because it extends over several different books, it is hard to 
discover, but this literary device is not unusual in Hebrew literature. 
It is, for instance, similar to the way in which the Abraham saga is 
continued in the Book of Samuel and the Book of Kings. Through a 
series of distinct passages, one character becomes associated with 
another character by means of parallel acts or locations, and by 
means of similar language. 

The purpose of this particular satire is to document that the "root" 
and "branch" of the Judaic messianic lineage has been destroyed and 
that a Roman lineage has been "grafted on" in its place. This satirical 
system actually begins in the Book of Malachi, the final book of the 
Old Testament. Malachi means "my messenger" in Hebrew and was 
used as an epithet for the prophet Elijah. This is because in Judaic 
literature it was predicted that the Messiah would be preceded by the 
appearance of Elijah, who would act as the messenger of his coming. 

But I shall send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of 
the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 

Malachi 4:5 



159 



160 Caesar's Messiah 

This final passage in the Book of Malachi predicts a coming dis- 
aster for the "wicked," one that will leave them destroyed by fire and 
with neither "root" nor "branch." 

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all 
the proud, yes all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the 
day which is coming shall burn them up, says the Lord of 
Hosts, [and] will leave them neither root nor branch. 

Malachi 4:1 

Josephus clearly records that the first part of this prophesy con- 
cerning the "wicked" being "burned up," came to pass during the 
war with the Romans. He also records that the second part of the 
prophesy — that they would be left with neither "root" nor "branch" — 
was also fulfilled during Titus' campaign, though not so overtly. To 
understand that the "wicked," that is, the messianic rebels, were to 
be left with no "root" or "branch," the reader needs to comprehend 
perhaps the most complex literary satire ever written. 

As noted above, "root" and "branch" were Judaic metaphors used 
to denote the messianic lineage. For example, the Genesis Flori- 
legium states: 

. . . until the Messiah of Righteousness, the Branch of 
David comes, because to him and his seed was given the 
Covenant of the Kingdom of his people . . . 120 

This root and branch messianic imagery found in the Dead Sea 
Scrolls is a continuation of its use by the prophet Isaiah concerning 
the coming Messiah, as the following translation from another frag- 
ment of the Scrolls shows: 

. . . Isaiah the Prophet ... the thickets of the forest will be 
felled with an axe and Lebanon shall fall by a mighty one. A 
staff shall rise from the root of Jesse, {and} a planting from 
his roots will bear fruit. . . the Branch of David. 121 

The authors of the New Testament continue the messianic root 
and branch metaphor, though with a totally different perspective. 
Within the New Testament, the root and branch imagery is pre- 
sented in the context of their being transformed into a different lin- 



The New Root and Branch 161 

eage — the lineage of the new Messiah. The "branches" are described 
as either being "pruned" or being "grafted onto." Jesus predicts — 
echoing the Book of Malachi — that those "branches" that do not 
"abide" in the new Judaism he brings will be "burned." 

If anyone does not abide in me, he is cast out as a branch 
and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into 
the fire. 

John 15:6 

Josephus builds on the root and branch imagery in the New Tes- 
tament by establishing a series of related parallels. As we have seen 
so often, these parallels contain puzzles that reveal the names of 
unnamed characters. And in every case the name of the unnamed 
character is Eleazar. My interpretation of the parallels involving 
Eleazar is that they indicate that Eleazar was the name of the indi- 
vidual that the messianic rebels looked to as the "root" foreseen by 
Judaic prophesy. Judging from the satire, this individual may actu- 
ally have existed and have been the spiritual leader of the rebellion. 

As is the case with all the typological passages, the root and 
branch satire can be recognized by determining the temporal order 
in which its events occur, even though they are described in differ- 
ent books. This is the same technique required to solve "the puzzle 
of the empty tomb" above, where the reading has to arrange the four 
empty tomb texts in chronological order to comprehend the com- 
bined story that the texts create. Josephus provides the reader with 
a clear path to this temporal understanding. 

The other keys to recognizing the satire are the same ones that 
are used throughout the New Testament and War of the Jews. These 
are parallel locations and conceptual parallels. Further, some of the 
principles from the Roman sciences of botany and homeopathic 
medicine are used in the "root and branch" satire. Roman medicine 
considered that whatever made you sick could sometimes cure you. 
For instance, one treatment for a scorpion bite was to apply mashed 
raw scorpion to the wound. Roman botany considered that by intro- 
ducing tamed specimens into a colony of wild plants, a hybrid and 
lamer plant would result. 



162 Caesar's Messiah 

Pedanius Dioscorides, the chief physician and botanist accom- 
panying Vespasian and Titus in Judea, was familiar with both of 
these scientific principles. They are key elements in the "root and 
branch" satire. 

Pedanius was justly famous for pioneering the first documented 
use of anesthesia and the first medical use of electric shock therapy 
(using electric eels to generate the current). He also wrote a text- 
book on botany that became the basis for modern herbalism and 
identified hundreds of medicinal plant roots — "many very servicea- 
ble roots," as he put it — that had not previously been known to 
medical science. As one of Rome's leading scientists, Pedanius 
would certainly have advised Titus on what Josephus calls the "use- 
ful science" 122 of expelling demons from apparently insane people. 

One of the elements of the root and branch satire is the strange 
plant that Josephus calls rue; it has a root by the name of "baaras." 
This root, baaras, has the power to dispel demons, defined by Jose- 
phus as the "spirit of the wicked." 

That Josephus mentions a plant named rue is significant, since 
rue is one of the plants that Pedanius studied and wrote about. In 
his textbook On Herbalism, he explains the dangers of the wild, or 
mountain rue, and the benefits of the domesticated, or garden rue, 
which grew near fig trees and could be safely eaten. 

Pedanius' gardening technique is, essentially, the core of the 
Roman pacification strategy documented in the root and branch 
satire: the Romans attempted to "domesticate" the Jews by pruning 
the root of their demonic wickedness, the Messiah Eleazar, and then 
grafting in the root that is Jesus, which has the power to dispel 
demons. 

A quote from Titus recorded by the fourth-century Christian 
writer Sulpcius Severus mentions his understanding of the impor- 
tance of the "root" to the Jews and Christians. 

Titus is said to have first summoned a council and deliber- 
ated whether or not he should destroy such a mighty tem- 
ple .. . Titus himself said that the destruction of the temple 
was a prime necessity in order to wipe out more completely 
the religions of the Jews and Christians for they urged that 
these religions, though hostile to each other, nevertheless 



The New Root and Branch 163 

sprang from the same sources; the Christians had grown 
out of the Jews; if the root were destroyed, the stock would 
easily perish (Christianos ex ludaeis exitisse radice sublata 
stirpem facile perituram). 

To begin the analysis, I would first note the elements from the 
New Testament that are used in the root and branch satire. These 
concepts are so well known that I feel it is unnecessary to include 
the related texts and only provide the following list. 

Root and branch elements in the New Testament: 

1. The messianic lineage is described as being "pruned" 

2. There is a prediction that the messianic lineage will be grafted 
onto 

3. Jesus' capture occurs on the Mount of Olives 

4. Three are crucified but one survives 

5. Joseph of Arimathea takes survivor down from the cross 

The analysis continues by presenting each of the component 
passages that make up the satire in turn. 

The following passage takes place at the fortress Herodian. It 
occurs before the siege of Jerusalem and tells the story of an Eleazar 
who, like his namesake at Masada, commits suicide. For clarifica- 
tion, I present the following list of concepts in the passage that are 
elements in the larger satire. 

Location: Thecoe and Herodian 

1. Eleazar 

2. Pitched camp at Thecoe 

3. Refusal to surrender 

4. Suicide 

Nor was it long ere Simon came violently again upon their 
country; when he pitched his camp at a certain village 
called Thecoe, and sent Eleazar, one of his companions, to 
those that kept garrison at Herodian, and in order to per- 
suade them to surrender that fortress to him. The garrison 
received this man readily, while they knew nothing of what 
he came about; but as soon as he talked of the surrender 



164 Caesar's Messiah 

of the place, they fell upon him with their drawn swords, till 
he found that he had no place for flight, when he threw him- 
self down from the wall into the valley beneath; so he died 
immediately. 

War, 4, 9.5 

The following passage is also part of the satire. The reader should 
recognize it as the passage 1 analyzed above, which led me to under- 
stand that the name of the Messiah captured on the Mount of Olives 
was Eleazar. One of the elements that makes the root and branch 
satire so difficult to comprehend is that it uses the solutions to other 
puzzles as components. In other words, a reader must first solve the 
puzzle that reveals that the "certain young man" captured on the 
Mount of Olives was named Eleazar to be able to move forward and 
see the even larger story that the captured Eleazar is a part of. 

For clarification, I present the following list of the elements in 
the story that are part of the satire. 

Location: Mount of Olives 

1. Eleazar 

2. Pedanius (physician) 

3. Pedanius hangs Eleazar down from his hand as he "carries 
him away" 

4. Capture occurs on the Mount of Olives 

5. The fact that Eleazar is ordered to be "pruned" 

Many of the seditious were so pressed by the famine . . . 
that they got together, and made an attack on those Roman 
guards that were upon the Mount of Olives . . . But the 
Romans were apprised of their coming to attack them 
beforehand ... and one whose name was Pedanius spurred 
his horse on their flank with great vehemence, and caught 
up a certain young man belonging to the enemy by his 
ankle, as he was running away; the man was, however, of a 
robust body, and in his armor; so low did Pedanius bend 
himself downward from his horse, even as he was gallop- 
ing away, and so great was the strength of his right hand, 
and of the rest of his body, as also such skill had he in 
horsemanship. So this man seized upon that his prey, as 



The New Root and Branch 165 

upon a precious treasure, and carried him as his captive to 
Caesar . . . whereupon Titus admired the man that had 
seized the other for his great strength, and ordered the 
man that was caught to be pruned for his attempt against 
the Roman wall. 123 

The following passage is one of the most important in the works 
of Josephus because in it he records his parallel to the crucifixion of 
Jesus in the New Testament. It occurs after the siege of Jerusalem but 
before the passage describing Eleazar's capture and release at 
Macherus. Its temporal orientation relative to the other events in the 
root and branch satire is crucial, and to make this more difficult to 
see, the event is recorded in Josephus' autobiography and not in War 
of the Jews. However, Josephus did provide — for the alert reader — a 
path to understanding, when his crucifixion scene occurred relative 
to the other events in the satire. He did so with the statement "More- 
over, when the city Jerusalem was taken by force, I was sent by Titus," 
which indicates that the event occurred after the capture of the "cer- 
tain young man" on the Mount of Olives by Pedanius but before the 
siege of Macherus, which occurred after Titus had left Judea. 

This relative placement is also crucially important for the over- 
all parallel sequence between Jesus' ministry and Titus' campaign. In 
other words, as in the New Testament, the "three are crucified, one 
survives" episode occurs after the Mount of Olives capture but 
before the condemnation of Simon and the sparing of John, which 
Titus learned of by letter after he had left Jerusalem. 124 

The following list contains the elements that are used in the 
root and branch satire from the passage below, describing three Jews 
who are crucified and one who survive at Thecoa. 

Location: Thecoa 

1) Three are crucified but one survives 

2) Joseph bar Matthias takes survivor down from the cross 

3) Pitched camp at Thecoe 

4) Physician 

Moreover, when the city Jerusalem was taken by force, I 
was sent by Titus Caesar, to a certain village called Thecoa, 



166 Caesar's Messiah 

in order to know whether it were a place fit for a camp; as I 
came back, I saw many captives crucified, and remembered 
three of them as my former acquaintance. I was very sorry 
at this in my mind, and went with tears in my eyes to Titus, 
and told him of them; so he immediately commanded them 
to be taken down, and to have the greatest care taken of 
them, in order to their recovery; yet two of them died under 
the physician's hands, while the third recovered. 

Josephus Life, 26 

Following Titus' return to Rome, Josephus describes a valley 
next to the fortress Macherus in which a "magic root" that could dis- 
pel demons grew. The following list contains the elements in that 
passage that are used in the satire. 

Location: Baaras 

1) A root that can dispel demons 

2) The fact that this root must be hung down from the hand of 
its captor as he "carries it away" 

Now within this place there grew a sort of rue that deserves 
our wonder on account of its largeness, for it was no way 
inferior to any fig tree whatsoever, either in height or in 
thickness; and the report is, that it had lasted ever since the 
times of Herod, and would probably have lasted much 
longer, had it not been cut down by those Jews who took 
possession of the place afterward. But still in that valley 
which encompasses the city on the north side there is a 
certain place called Baaras, which produces a root of the 
same name with itself. Its color is like to that of flame, and 
towards the evenings it sends out a certain ray like light- 
ning. It is not easily taken by such as would do it, but 
recedes from their hands, nor will yield itself to be taken 
quietly, until either the urine of a woman, or her menstrual 
blood, be poured upon it; nay, even then it is certain death 
to those that touch it, unless any one take and hang the root 
itself down from his hand, and so carry it away. It may also 
be taken another way, without danger, which is this: they 
dig a trench quite round about it, till the hidden part of the 
root be very small, they then tie a dog to it, and when the 



The New Root and Branch 167 

dog tries hard to follow him that tied him, this root is easily 
plucked up, but the dog dies immediately, as if it were 
instead of the man that would take the plant away; nor after 
this need any one be afraid of taking it into their hands. Yet, 
after all this pains in getting, it is only valuable on account 
of one virtue it hath, that if it be only brought to sick per- 
sons, it quickly drives away those called demons, which are 
no other than the spirits of the wicked, that enter into men 
that are alive and kill them, unless they can obtain some 
help against them. 125 

Immediately following the description of the magic root Jose- 
phus describes another incident involving an Eleazar at one of the 
Herodian fortresses, Macherus. 

The following elements from the passage are part of the satire. 

Location: Macherus 

1. Herodian fort 

2. Eleazar 

3. The fact that Eleazar is carried away in his armor 

4. The fact that Eleazar survives his crucifixion 

Now a certain person belonging to the Roman camp, whose 
name was Rufus, by birth an Egyptian, ran upon him sud- 
denly, when nobody expected such a thing, and carried him 
off, with his armor itself; while, in the mean time, those that 
saw it from the wall were under such an amazement, that 
Rufus prevented their assistance, and carried Eleazar to 
the Roman camp. So the general of the Romans ordered 
that he should be taken up naked, set before the city to be 
seen, and sorely whipped before their eyes. Upon this sad 
accident that befell the young man, the Jews were terribly 
confounded, and the city, with one voice, sorely lamented 
him, and the mourning proved greater than could welt be 
supposed upon the calamity of a single person. 126 

When Bassus perceived that, he began to think of using 
a stratagem against the enemy, and was desirous to aggra- 
vate their grief, in order to prevail with them to surrender 
the city for the preservation of that man. Nor did he fail of 
his hope; for he commanded them to set up a cross, as if he 



168 Caesar's Messiah 

were just going to hang Eleazar upon it immediately; the 
sight of this occasioned a sore grief among those that were 
in the citadel, and they groaned vehemently, and cried out 
that they could not bear to see him thus destroyed. Where- 
upon Eleazar besought them not to disregard him, now he 
was going to suffer a most miserable death, and exhorted 
them to save themselves, by yielding to the Roman power 
and good fortune, since they now conquered all other peo- 
ple. These men were greatly moved with what he said, there 
being also many within the city that interceded for him, 
because he was of an eminent and very numerous family; 
so they now yielded to their passion of commiseration, con- 
trary to their usual custom. Accordingly, they sent out 
immediately certain messengers, and treated with the 
Romans, in order to surrender the citadel to them, and 
desired that they might be permitted to go away, and take 
Eleazar along with them. Then did the Romans and their 
general accept of these terms . . . Bassus thought he must 
perform the covenant he had made with those that had sur- 
rendered, he let them go, and restored Eleazar to them. 

The famous depiction of the siege of Masada is also part of this 
satirical theme. Its elements are 

Location: Masada 

1. Herodian fort 

2. Eleazar 

3. Not surrendering leads to suicide 

This fortress was called Masada. It was one Eleazar, a 
potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii that had 
seized upon it. He was a descendant from that Judas who 
had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we have formerly 
related, not to submit to the taxation when Cyrenius was 
sent into Judea to make one. 

7,8,1 

Finally, Josephus records his last story about "Eleazar"; this time 
he is located in Rome. We can be certain that the event occurred in 
Rome because Josephus states that the event occurred in the pres- 



The New Root and Branch 169 

ence of Vespasian's sons — notice the plural. Since Domitian did not 
travel to Judea, this fact establishes that the event took place after Titus 
had returned to Rome. In the passage, Eleazar is using a magic root 
to remove demons from captives. Its elements within the satire are 

Location: Rome 

1. Eleazar 

2. Magic Root 

3. Demons cannot pass through water 

... for I have seen a certain man of my own country, whose 
name was Eleazar, releasing people that were demoniacal 
in the presence of Vespasian, and his sons, and his cap- 
tains, and the whole multitude of his soldiers. The manner 
of the cure was this: He put a ring that had a root of one of 
those sorts mentioned by Solomon to the nostrils of the 
demoniac, after which he drew out the demon through his 
nostrils . . . And when Eleazar would persuade and demon- 
strate to the spectators that he had such a power, he set a 
little way off a cup or basin full of water, and commanded 
the demon, as he went out of the man, to overturn it, and 
thereby to let the spectators know that he had left the man. 127 

To begin the interpretation of the root and branch satire, I would 
note that all the passages above involve a character named "Eleazar." 
In the passages that occur at Herodian, Macherus, Masada, and 
Rome, Josephus names the character overtly. In the case of the 
"young man" who was "carried away" at the Mount of Olives, I have 
already shown the puzzle that leads to this conclusion. The crucified 
man who survived at Thecoa and the "magical root" of Baaras are 
also part of the satirical system regarding Eleazar. This is an exam- 
ple of the same motif that I discussed previously regarding the vari- 
ous Marys and Simons. In other words, all the Eleazars are part of a 
single satirical element. 

The passages work together to create a story describing the 
Roman capture of the messianic root of the Jews — Eleazar — and 
then their "pruning" of him and transforming him into Jesus, the 
demon-dispelling, pro-Roman Messiah. 



170 Caesar's Messiah 

The parallel that indicates that Eleazar is the "root" is quite 
overt. The reader must recall the method by which Josephus states 
someone may capture the magic root baaras — that is, the "Son" — 
without killing himself: "... it is certain death to those that touch 
it, unless any one take and hang the root itself down from his hand, 
and so carry it away." 

This is the precise, and implausible, method used by Pedanius 
to procure Eleazar on the Mount of Olives: "... so low did Pedanius 
bend himself downward from his horse . . . and so great was the 
strength of his right hand ... So this man seized upon that his prey, 
as upon a precious treasure, and carried him as his captive to Caesar." 
Notice the parallel language "down," "hand," and "carried away." 

As his depiction of the "magic root" does, Josephus' preposter- 
ous description of Pedanius' capture of the "certain young man" on 
the Mount of Olives stretches credulity. This literary device alerts 
the reader that the tales are not literal history and that, therefore, he 
or she should look for another type of meaning. In this instance, the 
parallel methods by which they are captured identifies, metaphori- 
cally, that Eleazar is, like baaras, a dangerous "root." This identifica- 
tion is also facilitated by the name of the root — baaras — which 
means "son." Further, the satirical capture by Pedanius of the Jew- 
ish Messiah, who is the "root" to the messianic rebels, contributes to 
the overall satirical theme and the wit. Because Pedanius was the 
Romans' most renowned root specialist, he would have been, of 
course, the one chosen to handle such a dangerous one. 

The meaning of the tale of the "magic root" of baaras within the 
root and branch satire is also easy to understand. It documents the 
existence of a metaphorical "root" that had the power to remove 
demons — obviously the Jesus of the New Testament, the only indi- 
vidual in history with such power. The Romans would graft this 
demon-dispelling "root" onto Eleazar once they had "pruned" him, 
thereby transforming the "root" that had infected so many with a 
demonic spirit into one that had the power to remove demons. 

Parallels also indicate that the individual who survived his cru- 
cifixion at Thecoa was the Messiah. This individual would have 
been a "Christ" because, like his "type" in the New Testament, he 



The New Root and Branch 171 

was the sole survivor among three crucified men. The two must be 
among the few individuals in history to have survived a crucifixion. 

Further, a "Joseph of Arimathea" arranged for both survivors to 
be taken down from the cross. This is to say that the last names of 
the two Josephs — "Josephus Bar Matthias" and "Joseph of Ari- 
mathea" — are homophonically similar. "Arimathea" is an obvious 
play on Josephus' last name, "Bar Matthias," which is quite similar 
to the "Iscariot/Sicarii" pun noted above. The Gospel of Barnabas, a 
noncanonical Gospel from the middle ages, does not even bother 
with this word play and states that the name of the individual who 
took Jesus down from the cross was "Joseph of Barimathea." "Joseph 
of Arimathea" is also identified as the "type" of Josephus bar 
Matthias by his job description — counselor. (Luke 23:50) 

The individual who survived his crucifixion at Thecoa is also 
linked to the Eleazar captured on the Mount of Olives by the physi- 
cian Pedanius in that Josephus states that it was a physician who 
restored him to life. Pedanius was the physician who accompanied 
Titus to Judea and therefore would have been the physician at The- 
coa. Finally, the Eleazar who committed suicide at the fortress Hero- 
dian had pitched camp at Thecoa previously and had, thus, 
answered the question Josephus asked about whether Thecoa was a 
"fit place to camp." 

The name of the place where the crucifixion occurred — The- 
coa — is also part of the satirical system. Thecoa, or Theo Coeus, is 
the name of the Roman god of the questioning intellect. The point 
being made here is that the irrational Jewish Messiah was taken to 
the place of a discerning or questioning intellect. There he was, as 
Titus ordered, "pruned" and, as Paul described, "grafted onto" with 
a new "root" and was thus transformed into a Messiah deemed 
rational by the Romans. 

Knowing that the "magic root" was named Eleazar, as was the 
man who survived his crucifixion at Thecoa, and knowing the time 
sequence with which these events took place, enables the reader to 
perceive the satire that all the passages work together to create. 

The Eleazar captured by Pedanius on the Mount of Olives is 
taken to Thecoa, where he is "hung on a tree" — that is crucified — 



172 Caesar's Messiah 

and, as Titus has ordered, "pruned." The botanist and physician 
Pedanius then grafts the magic root of baaras onto him. This process 
transforms Eleazar from a "root" that causes the Jews to be pos- 
sessed by a demonic spirit into the "root" that dispells demons. 
Eleazar has become Jesus. 

Once this Eleazar has been satirically pruned and grafted onto 
at Thecoa, he is "given back" to the Jews at Macherus. In this way 
the Romans introduce a "tame," or domesticated, plant into a field 
of wild ones to decrease the wildness of later generations. Of note is 
the fact that, at this point, the satire takes the story of Jesus beyond 
the story line of the Gospels and begins to describe the implemen- 
tation of Christianity by the Romans. This satirical introduction of 
the domesticated "Jesus" takes place in the passage that immediately 
follows the description of the "magic root." In that passage the 
Roman general Bassus seeks to make the Jews inside the Herodian 
fortress Macherus surrender by threatening to crucify Eleazar in 
front of them. Those Jews who "accept these terms" are permitted to 
survive and Bassus then restores "Eleazar" — obviously, the Eleazar 
"carried away" at the Mount of Olives and treated by the physician 
at Thecoa — to them and they go on their way. In other words, those 
Jews who accept the tamed Messiah and his pro-Roman doctrines 
are allowed to live. 

At Masada, however, another Eleazar, a parallel to the Eleazar at 
Herodian, refuses to surrender and commits suicide. The point is 
that refusal to surrender and accept the new Judaism is tantamount 
to suicide. With this Eleazar's death, Josephus is also terminating the 
"root" and "branch" of the Maccabean lineage so that it will not 
compete against the "domesticated" messianic lineage newly estab- 
lished by Rome. 

Josephus concludes the "root and branch" satire with the 
description of yet another Eleazar, one who performs exorcisms at 
Rome. This Eleazar uses the "magic root" to pull demons out of cap- 
tives, clearly indicating captured messianic Jews. This image repre- 
sents a complete victory for the Roman "homeopathic" approach to 
the problem of the messianic "root" that caused Jews to be possessed 
by "demons." 



The New Root and Branch 173 

The "root" that caused the Jewish rebels to be infected has been 
domesticated by Pedanius and can therefore now be used to cure 
them of the disease it brought about. This image is both the fulfill- 
ment of the prophecy of Malachi — which foresees that the wicked 
will be left with no "branch" or "root" — and the conclusion of the 
satire that began in the New Testament concerning the "root." 

Further, the passage concludes the comic theme regarding the 
inability of demons to pass through water, which began in the 
demons of Gadara passage above and ends here with the demonic 
spirit knocking over the basin full of water as it leaves the prisoners. 
These prisoners were the 2,000 rebels who were captured at Gadara. 
Being demonically possessed, they could not pass through water and 
therefore did not drown. As the demon leaves them, it concludes the 
joke by knocking over the water basin. 

The passage is also Josephus' last depiction of the "domesti- 
cated" Christ that the Romans created and it provides us with their 
vision of his future. He is at Rome, working for the imperial family 
by calming the rebellious, just as he has been for the last 2,000 years. 



CHAPTER 



Until All Is Fulfilled 



I have shown that elements of Jesus' ministry, when viewed as a 
whole, can be seen as a prophetic outline of Titus' military campaign 
through Judea. In fact, the New Testament and War of the Jews cre- 
ate a number of other " prophecies and fulfillments" that can be seen 
as part of this comic system. Many of Jesus' eschatological, or 
doomsday, prophecies are presented in Matthew 21 through 25. 

I will begin the analysis of the relationship between the New 
Testament doomsday prophecies and Titus' campaign by first citing 
a passage from War of the Jews. The passage contains a number of 
parallels with the New Testament that are historically famous, as 
well as one of the two lampoons of the New Testament's Jesus that 
are arranged like bookends around Josephus' description of the 
destruction of the temple. The other of these two "bookend" lam- 
poons is the passage describing the son of Mary whose flesh was 
eaten, which I have discussed previously. Because Jesus used the 
"temple" as a self-designation, and compared his destruction to the 
destruction of a temple, juxtaposing these two lampoons with the 
destruction of the temple is audacious. 

The two lampoons of Jesus literally "touch" the chapter that 
describes the temple's destruction. In the Whiston translation of War 
of the Jews, which I cite throughout this work, there are only eleven 
pages of text between the "Son of Mary whose flesh was eaten" pas- 
sage and the passage that contains the character that I refer to below 
as the "lunatic Jesus." This lunatic Jesus, who is a clear lampoon of 
the New Testament's Jesus, was himself recorded by Josephus as one 
of the "signs" that preceded the destruction of the temple. 



174 



Until All Is Fulfilled 175 

The signs recorded by Josephus as having preceded the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem caused many early church scholars to believe that 
the signs Jesus foresaw in Matthew 23 and 24 had come to pass. The 
parallels that exist between Jesus' and Josephus' lists of signs have 
been known since the beginning of Christianity. As Hippolytus wrote 
(circa 200 C.E.), 

What then? Are not these things come to pass? Are not the 
things announced by thee fulfilled? Is not their country, 
Judea, desolate? Is not the holy place burned with fire? Are 
not their walls cast down? Are not their cities destroyed? 
Their land, do not strangers devour it? Do not the Romans 
rule the country? 

The parallels between the two lists of signs do seem too exact to 
have occurred by chance. I disagree, however, with Hippolytus' belief 
that they were the result of supernatural causes. I would point out 
that whenever two documents have similarities too exact to have 
been caused by chance, parsimony requires that the first theory to 
explore is that the two works have emanated from the same source. 
This is the simplest theory and should be maintained until another 
explanation is shown to be more plausible. In any event, the follow- 
ing passages from War of the Jews and the New Testament are the 
example, par excellence, of the relationship that so many church 
scholars have noted between these two works. What Jesus predicts, 
Josephus records as having come to pass. 

THE GREAT DISTRESS THE JEWS WERE IN UPON THE 
CONFLAGRATION OF THE HOLY HOUSE. CONCERNING A 
FALSE PROPHET, AND THE SIGNS THAT PRECEDED THIS 
DESTRUCTION. WHILE the holy house was on fire, every 
thing was plundered that came to hand, and ten thousand 
of those that were caught were slain; nor was there a com- 
miseration of any age, or any reverence of gravity, but chil- 
dren, and old men, and profane persons, and priests were 
all slain in the same manner; so that this war went round 
all sorts of men, and brought them to destruction, and as 
well those that made supplication for their lives, as those 



176 Caesar's Messiah 

that defended themselves by fighting. The flame was also 
carried a long way, and made an echo, together with the 
groans of those that were slain; and because this hill was 
high, and the works at the temple were very great, one 
would have thought the whole city had been on fire. Nor can 
one imagine any thing either greater or more terrible than 
this noise; for there was at once a shout of the Roman 
legions, who were marching all together, and a sad clamor 
of the seditious, who were now surrounded with fire and 
sword. The people also that were left above were beaten 
back upon the enemy, and under a great consternation, and 
made sad moans at the calamity they were under; the mul- 
titude also that was in the city joined in this outcry with 
those that were upon the hill. And besides, many of those 
that were worn away by the famine, and their mouths 
almost closed, when they saw the fire of the holy house, 
they exerted their utmost strength, and brake out into 
groans and outcries again: Pera (17) did also return the 
echo, as well as the mountains round about [the city,] and 
augmented the force of the entire noise. Yet was the misery 
itself more terrible than this disorder; for one would have 
thought that the hill itself, on which the temple stood, was 
seething hot, as full of fire on every part of it, that the blood 
was larger in quantity than the fire, and those that were 
slain more in number than those that slew them; for the 
ground did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies that 
lay on it; but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, 
as they ran upon such as fled from them. And now it was 
that the multitude of the robbers were thrust out [of the 
inner court of the temple by the Romans,] and had much 
ado to get into the outward court, and from thence into the 
city, while the remainder of the populace fled into the clois- 
ter of that outer court. As for the priests, some of them 
plucked up from the holy house the spikes (18) that were 
upon it, with their bases, which were made of lead, and shot 
them at the Romans instead of darts. But then as they 
gained nothing by so doing, and as the fire burst out upon 
them, they retired to the wall that was eight cubits broad, 
and there they tarried; yet did two of these of eminence 



Until All Is Fulfilled 177 

among them, who might have saved themselves by going 
over to the Romans, or have borne up with courage, and 
taken their fortune with the others, throw themselves into 
the fire, and were burnt together with the holy house; their 
names were Meirus the son of Belgas, and Joseph the son 
of Daleus. 

And now the Romans, judging that it was in vain to 
spare what was round about the holy house, burnt all those 
places, as also the remains of the cloisters and the gates, 
two excepted; the one on the east side, and the other on the 
south; both which, however, they burnt afterward. They also 
burnt down the treasury chambers, in which was an 
immense quantity of money, and an immense number of 
garments, and other precious goods there reposited; and, 
to speak all in a few words, there it was that the entire 
riches of the Jews were heaped up together, while the rich 
people had there built themselves chambers [to contain 
such furniture]. The soldiers also came to the rest of the 
cloisters that were in the outer [court of the] temple, 
whither the women and children, and a great mixed multi- 
tude of the people, fled, in number about six thousand. But 
before Caesar had determined any thing about these peo- 
ple, or given the commanders any orders relating to them, 
the soldiers were in such a rage, that they set that cloister 
on fire; by which means it came to pass that some of these 
were destroyed by throwing themselves down headlong, 
and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor did 
any one of them escape with his life. A false prophet (19] 
was the occasion of these people's destruction, who had 
made a public proclamation in the city that very day, that 
God commanded them to get upon the temple, and that 
there they should receive miraculous signs of their deliver- 
ance. Now there was then a great number of false prophets 
suborned by the tyrants to impose on the people, who 
denounced this to them, that they should wait for deliver- 
ance from God; and this was in order to keep them from 
deserting, and that they might be buoyed up above fear and 
care by such hopes. Now a man that is in adversity does 
easily comply with such promises; forwhen such a seducer 



178 Caesar's Messiah 

makes him believe that he shall be delivered from those 
miseries which oppress him, then it is that the patient is full 
of hopes of such his deliverance. 

Thus were the miserable people persuaded by these 
deceivers, and such as belied God himself; while they did 
not attend nor give credit to the signs that were so evident, 
and did so plainly foretell their future desolation, but, like 
men infatuated, without either eyes to see or minds to con- 
sider, did not regard the denunciations that God made to 
them. Thus there was a star resembling a sword, which 
stood over the city, and a comet, that continued a whole 
year. Thus also before the Jews' rebellion, and before those 
commotions which preceded the war, when the people 
were come in great crowds to the feast of unleavened 
bread, on the eighth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan], 
and at the ninth hour of the night, so great a light shone 
round the altar and the holy house, that it appeared to be 
bright day time; which lasted for half an hour. This light 
seemed to be a good sign to the unskillful, but was so inter- 
preted by the sacred scribes, as to portend those events 
that followed immediately upon it. At the same festival also, 
a heifer, as she was led by the high priest to be sacrificed, 
brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple. Moreover, 
the eastern gate of the inner [court of the] temple, which 
was of brass, and vastly heavy, and had been with difficulty 
shut by twenty men, and rested upon a basis armed with 
iron, and had bolts fastened very deep into the firm floor, 
which was there made of one entire stone, was seen to be 
opened of its own accord about the sixth hour of the night. 
Now those that kept watch in the temple came hereupon 
running to the captain of the temple, and told him of it; who 
then came up thither, and not without great difficulty was 
able to shut the gate again. This also appeared to the vul- 
gar to be a very happy prodigy, as if God did thereby open 
them the gate of happiness. But the men of learning under- 
stood it, that the security of their holy house was dissolved 
of its own accord, and that the gate was opened for the 
advantage of their enemies. So these publicly declared that 
the signal foreshowed the desolation that was coming upon 



Until All Is Fulfilled 179 

them. Besides these, a few days after that feast, on the one 
and twentieth day of the month Artemisius [lyar], a certain 
prodigious and incredible phenomenon appeared: I sup- 
pose the account of it would seem to be a fable, were it not 
related by those that saw it, and were not the events that 
followed it of so considerable a nature as to deserve such 
signals; for, before sun-setting, chariots and troops of sol- 
diers in their armor were seen running about among the 
clouds, and surrounding of cities. Moreover, at that feast 
which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night 
into the inner [court of the] temple, as their custom was, to 
perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the 
first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and 
after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, say- 
ing, "Let us remove hence." 

At this point in the passage Josephus begins his description of 
the character I refer to as the lunatic Jesus. 

But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the 
son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four 
years before the war began, and at a time when the city was 
in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast 
whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles 
to God in the temple, began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A 
voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the 
four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a 
voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice 
against this whole people!" This was his cry, as he went 
about by day and by night, in all the lanes of the city. How- 
ever, certain of the most eminent among the populace had 
great indignation at this dire cry of his, and took up the 
man, and gave him a great number of severe stripes; yet did 
not he either say any thing for himself, or any thing pecu- 
liar to those that chastised him, but still went on with the 
same words which he cried before. Hereupon our rulers, 
supposing, as the case proved to be, that this was a sort of 
divine fury in the man, brought him to the Roman procura- 
tor, where he was whipped till his bones were laid bare; yet 
he did not make any supplication for himself, nor shed any 



Caesar's Messiah 

tears, but turning his voice to the most lamentable tone 
possible, at every stroke of the whip his answer was, "Woe, 
woe to Jerusalem!" And when Albinus (for he was then our 
procurator] asked him, Who he was? and whence he came? 
and why he uttered such words? he made no manner of 
reply to what he said, but still did not leave off his melan- 
choly ditty, till Albinus took him to be a madman, and dis- 
missed him. Now, during all the time that passed before 
the war began, this man did not go near any of the citizens, 
nor was seen by them while he said so; but he every day 
uttered these lamentable words, as if it were his premedi- 
tated vow, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" Nor did he give ill 
words to any of those that beat him every day, nor good 
words to those that gave him food; but this was his reply to 
all men, and indeed no other than a melancholy presage of 
what was to come. This cry of his was loudest at the festi- 
vals; and he continued this ditty for seven years and five 
months, without growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, 
until the very time that he saw his presage in earnest ful- 
filled in our siege, when it ceased; for as he was going 
round upon the wall, he cried out with his utmost force, 
"Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the 
holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to 
myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, 
and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was 
uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost. 

Now if any one consider these things, he will find that 
God takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible fore- 
shows to our race what is for their preservation; but that 
men perish by those miseries which they madly and volun- 
tarily bring upon themselves; for the Jews, by demolishing 
the tower of Antonia, had made their temple four-square, 
while at the same time they had it written in their sacred 
oracles, "That then should their city be taken, as well as 
their holy house, when once their temple should become 
four-square." But now, what did the most elevate them in 
undertaking this war, was an ambiguous oracle that was 
also found in their sacred writings, how, "about that time, 



Until All Is Fulfilled 181 

one from their country should become governor of the hab- 
itable earth." The Jews took this prediction to belong to 
themselves in particular, and many of the wise men were 
thereby deceived in their determination. Now this oracle 
certainly denoted the government of Vespasian, who was 
appointed emperor in Judea. However, it is not possible for 
men to avoid fate, although they see it beforehand. But 
these men interpreted some of these signals according to 
their own pleasure, and some of them they utterly despised, 
until their madness was demonstrated, both by the taking 
of their city and their own destruction. 128 

In Matthew 23 and 24 Jesus expresses what has been called his 
eschatological, or doomsday, vision. In fact, the entire passage appears 
to be nothing other than a "prophecy" of events and details that 
have occurred during Titus' destruction of Jerusalem, all of which 
can be found in Josephus' passage above, which describes that event. 
The related New Testament passages follow with the discussion 
points in boldface type. The passage contains, as Jesus himself 
describes them, the signs that will indicate that the "Son of Man" has 
come to destroy Jerusalem. 

Jesus had left the Temple and was going on His way, when 
His disciples came and called His attention to the Temple 
buildings. "You see all these?" He replied; "in solemn truth I 
tell you that there will not be left here one stone upon 
another that will not be pulled down." 

Afterwards He was on the Mount of Olives and was 
seated there when the disciples came to Him, apart from 
the others, and said, "Tell us when this will be; and what 
will be the sign of your Coming and of the Close of the Age?" 

"Take care that no one misleads you," answered Jesus; 

"for many will come assuming my name and saying 'I 
am the Christ;' and they will mislead many. 

"And before long you will hear of wars and rumors of 
wars. Do not be alarmed, for such things must be; but the 
End is not yet. 

"but all these miseries are but like the early pains of 
childbirth. 



182 Caesar's Messiah 

"That time they will deliver you up to punishment and 
will put you to death; and you will be objects of hatred to all 
the nations because you are called by my name. 

"Then and they will betray one another and hate one 
another. 

"Many false prophets will rise up and lead multitudes 
astray; 

"and because of the prevalent disregard of God's law 
the love of the great majority will grow cold; 

"but those who stand firm to the End shall be saved. 

"And this Good News of the Kingdom shall be pro- 
claimed throughout the whole world to set the evidence 
before all the Gentiles; and then the End will come. When 
you have seen (to use the language of the Prophet Daniel) 
the 'Abomination of Desolation,' standing in the Holy 
Place — let the reader observe those words — then let those 
who are in Judea escape to the hills; 

"let him who is on the roof not go down to fetch what is 
in his house; 

"nor let him who is outside the city stay to pick up his 
outer garment. 

"And alas for the women who at that time are with child 
or have infants! 

"But pray that your flight may not be in winter, nor on 
the Sabbath; 

"for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not 
been since the beginning of the world and assuredly never 
will be again. 

"And if those days had not been cut short, no one would 
escape; but for the sake of God's own People those days 
will be cut short. If at that time any one should say to you, 
'See, here is the Christ!' or 'Here!' give no credence to it. 

"For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, 
displaying wonderful signs and prodigies, so as to deceive, 
were it possible, even God's own People. 

"Remember, I have forewarned you. 

"If therefore they should say to you, 'See, He is in the 
Desert!' do not go out there: or 'See, He is indoors in the 
room!' do not believe it. 



Until All Is Fulfilled 183 

"For just as the lightning flashes in the east and is seen 
to the very west, so will be the Coming of the Son of Man. 

"Wherever the dead body is, there will the eagles flock 
together. But immediately after those times of distress 

"Then will appear the Sign of the Son of Man in the sky; 

"And He will send out His angels and they will gather 
together his elect, from the four winds, and from one end of 
heaven to the other. Now learn from the fig-tree the lesson 
it teaches. As soon as its branches have now become soft 
and it is bursting into leaf, you all know that summer is 
near. 

"So you also, when you see all these signs, may be sure 
that He is near — at your very door. 

"I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation 
wilt certainly not pass away without all these things having 
first taken place. 

"Earth and sky will pass away, but it is certain that my 
words will not pass away. But as to that day and the exact 
time no one knows — not even the angels of heaven, nor the 
Son, but the Father alone. 

"For as it was in the time of Noah, so it will be at the 
Coming of the Son of Man. 

"At that time, before the Deluge, men were busy eating 
and drinking, taking wives or giving them, up to the very day 
when Noah entered the Ark, 

"nor did they realize any danger till the Deluge came 
and swept them all away; so will it be at the Coming of the 
Son of Man. 

"Then will two men be in the open country: one will be 
taken away, and one left behind. 

"Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be 
taken away, and one left behind. 

"Be on the alert therefore, for you do not know the day 
on which your Lord is coming. 

"But of this be assured, that if the master of the house 
had known the hour at which the robber was coming, he 
would have kept awake, and not have allowed his house to 
be broken into. 



184 Caesar's Messiah 

"Therefore, you also must be ready; for it is at a time 
when you do not expect Him that the Son of Man will 

..129 

come." 

I have divided my analysis of the passages above into several 
parts. I shall first focus upon the parallels between Josephus' lunatic 
Jesus and the New Testament's Jesus. There are numerous parallels 
between the eschatological Jesus of Matthew 23 and 24 and the 
tragicomic Jesus described in the passage from Josephus, whom I refer 
to as the lunatic Jesus. I believe that Josephus intentionally creates a 
lampoon of the New Testament's Jesus by having the lunatic Jesus 
share his words, phrases, ideas, and experiences — and, obviously, by 
means of their shared name. They are parallel in one other important 
way. Each gives a list of "signs" that foretell Jerusalem's impending 
doom. These lists include a number of identical phrases and concepts. 

For example, the Jesus of the New Testament states: 

For just as the lightning flashes in the east and is seen to 
the very west, so will be the Coming of the Son of Man. 

And He will send out His angels and they will gather 
together his elect, from the four winds, and from one end of 
heaven to the other. Then will the Kingdom of the Heavens 
be found to be like ten bridesmaids who took their torches 
and went out to meet the bridegroom. 

The lunatic Jesus also speaks of "east" and "west," "the four 
winds," and "bridesmaids," and "bridegrooms." Notice that the lan- 
guage is used in the same sequence in both works: 

. . . began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, 
a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice 
against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the 
bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole 
people!" 

The lunatic Jesus clearly predicts the destruction of the temple 
when he says "a voice against the holy house." The New Testament 
Jesus makes the same prediction. 



Until All Is Fulfilled 185 

His disciples came and called His attention to the Temple 
buildings. 

"You see all these?" He replied; "in solemn truth I tell 
you that there will not be left here one stone upon another 
that will not be pulled down." 

The New Testament Jesus uses the word "woe" seven times dur- 
ing his speech in Matthew 23. The Jesus in Josephus' passage, above, 
who seemingly lampoons the New Testament Jesus, also constantly 
repeats the word "woe." 

Woe to you, blind guides . . . 

Matthew 23:1 6 

And from the passage in Josephus: 

Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the holy 
house! 

Both Jesuses are using the word "woe" to describe the disasters 
that will come to the inhabitants of Jerusalem when the "Son" returns. 
The New Testament Jesus foresees this disaster occurring with the 
return of a "Son of God," while Josephus' lunatic Jesus also foresees 
this occurring with coming of a "son of god," this one being Titus. 

It needs it be pointed out that Matthew 23 and 24 simply divide 
one speech, so that the parallels between these chapters and Jose- 
phus' description of the signs that preceded the destruction of the 
temple should be taken as unified. 

The lampoon is made even clearer when Josephus records that 
the lunatic Jesus has a passion experience very similar to that of the 
Jesus in the the New Testament. Like the New Testament Jesus, the 
lunatic Jesus is taken by "eminent Jews" to the Roman procurator, 
where he is whipped until his bones are laid bare. Like the New Tes- 
tament Jesus he is described as a man with "divine" fury. 

Josephus links his lunatic Jesus to the Jesus in the New Testa- 
ment in yet another way, by the date of his death. Josephus enables 
the reader to calculate this date by stating that the time when the 
lunatic Jesus began his wailing was "four years before the war 



186 Caesar's Messiah 

began" and that he continues "without growing hoarse" for "seven 
years and five months." 

As noted by Eisenman, these dates indicate that the lunatic 
Jesus died on Passover in 70 C.E. 130 This is a precise 40-year "gen- 
eration" from the beginning of the ministry of the the New Testa- 
ment's Jesus — who predicted that his prophecies would be fulfilled 
within 40 years. Jesus ben Ananias is another comic fulfillment of 
the the New Testament Jesus' prophecy. 

Finally, the completely unbelievable yet very comic end of the 
woe-saying Jesus in Josephus is related to the comic New Testament 
theme regarding "stones." 

This cry of his was the loudest at the festivals; and he con- 
tinued this ditty for seven years and five months, without 
growing hoarse, or being tired therewith, until the very time 
that he saw his presage in earnest fulfilled in our siege, 
when it ceased; for as he was going round upon the wall, he 
cried out with his utmost force, "Woe, woe to the city again, 
and to the people, and to the holy house!" And just as he 
added at the last, "Woe, woe to myself also!" there came a 
stone out of one of the engines, and smote him, and killed 
him immediately; and as he was uttering the very same 
presages he gave up the ghost. 

In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus states that the temple of Jeru- 
salem will be destroyed. He then is asked what signs will foretell its 
destruction. Jesus responds with a list of signs that will occur before 
the coming of the "Son of Man," the individual whose visitation will 
bring about the destruction. 

Josephus also gives a list of signs that, as he relates it, actually 
did precede the destruction of the temple. When these two lists of 
signs are compared, a number of parallels emerge. 

The first parallel is almost too obvious to be noticed — the loca- 
tion and subject of both passages. They both describe activity in and 
around the temple of Jerusalem and both have to do with its destruc- 
tion. Further, both Jesus and Josephus flatly declare that they are 
going to reveal the signs that will precede the coming destruction of 
the temple. 



Until All Is Fulfilled 187 

Thus, the title of the chapter in War of the Jews reads: 

THE GREAT DISTRESS THE JEWS WERE IN UPON THE 
CONFLAGRATION OF THE HOLY HOUSE. CONCERNING A 
FALSE PROPHET, AND THE SIGNS THAT PRECEDED THIS 
DESTRUCTION. 

At the beginning of Matthew 24 Jesus is asked the following 
question: 

Afterwards He was on the Mount of Olives and was seated 
there when the disciples came to Him, apart from the oth- 
ers, and said, "Tell us when this will be; and what will be the 
sign of your Coming and of the Close of the Age?' 

Jesus' doomsday visions are thus parallel to Josephus' chapter 
heading, 

. . . SIGNS THAT PRECEDED THIS DESTRUCTION. 

Both sets of signs are, thus, in relation to the coming destruc- 
tion of the temple. Jesus states that these signs will also herald the 
coming of the "Son of Man" and the beginning of the "tribulation" 
during which the temple will be destroyed. Josephus records that 
very similar signs, in fact, did occur just before just the destruction 
of the temple. 

For clarification, I will go through the list of signs that Jesus 
envisioned and then present the parallel signs that Josephus recorded 
as having come to pass. 

The New Testament Jesus sees false prophets rising and leading 
the people astray. 

"Take care that no one misleads you," answered Jesus; 

"for many will come assuming my name and saying 'I 
am the Christ;' and they will mislead many. 

Many false prophets will rise up and lead multitudes 
astray ..." 

This "comes to pass" in this passage from Josephus: 



188 Caesar's Messiah 

A false prophet was the occasion of these people's destruc- 
tion, who had made a public proclamation in the city that 
very day, that God commanded them to get upon the tem- 
ple, and that there they should receive miraculous signs of 
their deliverance. Now there was then a great number of 
false prophets suborned by the tyrants to impose on the 
people, who denounced this to them, that they should wait 
for deliverance from God . . . 

Jesus described the route the Son of Man would take. 

For just as the lightning flashes in the east and is seen to 
the very west, so will be the Coming of the Son of Man. 

This was the direction of the march of the Roman army as they 
entered Judea on the east and carried their conquest westward. 

Like Daniel [Daniel 7,13] the New Testament Jesus sees a sign 
of the Son of Man in the sky foreshadowing that the destruction is 
imminent: "One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of 
heaven!" 

In Josephus, we read of an actual sign in the clouds foretelling 
the imminent destruction of Jerusalem. 

. . . before sun-setting, chariots and troops of soldiers in 
their armor were seen running about among the clouds . . . 

The parallel between the sign of "chariots and troops . . . among 
the clouds" given by Josephus and the "sign of the Son of Man in the 
sky" given by Jesus is problematic for Christianity. If one accepts, as 
the early Christian scholars did, that the signs Jesus gives in 
Matthew came to pass with the signs Josephus records, then it is dif- 
ficult to gainsay that Jesus was referring to Titus as the "Son of 
Man," chariots and troops being more synonymous with leaders of 
Roman armies than with religious sages. This parallel is as clear as 
any of the other parallels between the signs that Jesus foresees in 
Matthew 23 and 24 and the signs that Josephus gives in War of the 
Jews, and to attempt to exclude it would constitute special pleading. 
Of interest is the fact that on the Arch of Titus at Rome there is a 
relief depicting both Titus' consecratio and his conquest of Jeru- 
salem, which shows him being carried into the clouds on an eagle. 



Until All Is Fulfilled 189 

Other scholars have noticed the connection between Jesus and 
Titus that Josephus' sign regarding chariots and troops creates. The 
eighteenth-century theologian Reland wrote concerning this partic- 
ular sign that 

. . . many will here look for a mystery, as though the mean- 
ing were, that the Son of God came now to take vengeance 
on the sins of the Jewish nation . . . 

Reland was simply stating the obvious. Since Jesus' eschatolog- 
ical prophecies were solely regarding the destruction of Judea by the 
Romans, they appear to envision him coming "at the head of the 
Roman army." Because Titus was the head of the army that destroyed 
Jerusalem, the parallel that this sign creates between Jesus and him 
seems clear. 

Continuing with the lists of signs, in the New Testament Jesus 
predicts "woe" for women who are suckling a child. 

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that 
give suck in those days. 

Matt. 24:19 

Josephus shows that this came to pass. 

She then attempted a most unnatural thing; and snatching 
up her son, who was a child sucking at her breast, she said, 
"O thou miserable infant! for whom shall I preserve thee in 
this war, this famine, and this sedition?"... As soon as she 
had said this, she slew her son, and then roasted him, and 
eat the one half of him , . . 

Jesus foresees "famines and earthquakes" as signs of the coming 
destruction. In the above passage from Josephus, the priests "felt a 
quaking" as they attempted to perform their ministrations. Josephus 
describes "many that were worn away by the famine." 

In Matthew 24 Jesus states 

let him who is on the roof not go down to fetch what is in his 
house; 

nor let him who is outside the city stay to pick up his 
outer garment. 



190 Caesar's Messiah 

In the following passage, Josephus records that this sign "came 
to pass": 

And now the Romans, judging that it was in vain to spare 
what was round about the holy house, that they set that 
cloister on fire; by which means it came to pass that some 
of these were destroyed by throwing themselves down head- 
long, and some were burnt in the cloisters themselves. Nor 
did any one of them escape with his life. A false prophet was 
the occasion of these people's destruction, who had made 
a public proclamation in the city that very day, that God 
commanded them to get upon the temple, and that there 
they should receive miraculous signs of their deliverance. 

They also burnt down the treasury chambers, in which 
was an immense quantity of money, and an immense num- 
ber of garments . . . 

Jesus states: 

But of this be assured, that if the master of the house had 
known the hour at which the robber was coming, he would 
have kept awake, and not have allowed his house to be bro- 
ken into. 

Throughout War of the Jews, Josephus uses the word "robber" to 
describe the Jewish rebels: 

And now it was that the multitude of the robbers were 
thrust out [of the inner court of the temple by the Romans,] 
and had much ado to get into the outward court, and from 
thence into the city, while the remainder of the populace 
fled into the cloister of that outer court . . . 

Jesus literally dates the "close of the age" that he is prophesying: 

I tell you in solemn truth that the present generation will 
certainly not pass away without all these things having first 
taken place. 

Jews in the first century held that a generation lasted 40 years. 
Therefore the generation that Jesus is referring to can only be the 



Until All Is Fulfilled 191 

one that, 40 years later, rebelled from Rome. Thus, all of Jesus' 
prophecies were foreseeing events from the coming war. 
The following quote underscores this idea. 

. . . Wherever the dead body is, there will the eagles flock 
together. . . 

Since the eagle was the symbol of the Roman army, the idea 
behind this passage also seems clear. Numerous scholars have 
understood the passage to indicate that Jesus is foreseeing the 
Roman army gathering about the corpses amidst the destroyed tem- 
ple. As Albert Barnes wrote in his Commentary on Matthew in 1832: 

This verse is connected with the preceding by the word 
"for," implying that this is a reason for what is said there — 
that the Son of Man would certainly come to destroy the 
city, and that he would come suddenly. The meaning is that 
he would come, by means of the Roman armies, as cer- 
tainly, as suddenly, and as unexpectedly as whole flocks of 
vultures and eagles, though unseen before, see their prey 
at a great distance and suddenly gather in multitudes 
around it... So keen is their vision as aptly to represent the 
Roman armies, though at an immense distance, spying, as 
it were, Jerusalem, a putrid carcass, and hastening in mul- 
titudes to destroy it. 

The New Testament makes it clear that Jesus has seen into the 
future and is telling the Jews what they must do to avoid "tribulation." 

For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets, dis- 
playing wonderful signs and prodigies, so as to deceive, 
were it possible, even God's own People . . . 
Remember, I have forewarned you. 

Josephus, in a pattern that should be familiar to the reader by 
now, states: 

Now if any one consider these things, he will find that God 
takes care of mankind, and by all ways possible foreshows 
to our race what is for their preservation; but that men per- 



192 Caesar's Messiah 

ish by those miseries which they madly and voluntarily 
bring upon themselves . . . 

As with all of Jesus' prophecies, his list of signs operates on two 
levels. On their surface they would have demonstrated to early une- 
ducated Christian converts the divinity of Jesus. Potential converts 
would have been shown the prophecies of Christ in the New Testa- 
ment and then the realization of each prophecy in War of the Jews — 
the official prophet corroborated by the official history. This would 
have both "proven" the divinity of Christ, because he had been able 
to see into future, and simultaneously justified the Romans' destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem, because it "proved" that it had been foreseen by 
God. On their comic level, however, the two lists of signs are obvi- 
ously clues to the real identity of the Son of Man — Titus Flavius. 

I note another parallel between Jesus' eschatological prophecies 
and War of the Jews that is related to this theme. Jesus in Matthew 24 
states 

... for then there will be great tribulation, such as has not 
been since the beginning of the world and assuredly never 
will be again. 

Josephus records that this too came to pass. 

... the misfortunes of all men, from the beginning of the 
world, if they be compared to these of the Jews, are not so 
considerable as they were. 131 

There is another parallel between the signs in Matthew 23 and 
the signs in Josephus. I will analyze it separately because of its 
unique comic nature. This parallel has long puzzled scholars. The 
confusion has been due to its not being understood both as a joke 
and as another of the parallels between Jesus' ministry and Titus' 
campaign, that which were created to give their two stories the same 
broad outline. 

In the Gospels, Jesus states 

You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape 
being sentenced to hell? 



Until All Is Fulfilled 193 

Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and 
scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some 
you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from 
town to town, 

that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed 
on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of 
Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered 
between the sanctuary and the altar. 

Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation. 

Matt. 23:33-36 

In War of the Jews Josephus writes: 

And now these zealots and Idumeans were quite weary of 
barely killing men, so they had the impudence of setting up 
fictitious tribunals and judicatures for that purpose; and as 
they intended to have Zacharias the son of Baruch, one of 
the most eminent of the citizens, slain, so what provoked 
them against him was, that hatred of wickedness and love 
of liberty which were so eminent in him . . . 

Now the seventy judges brought in their verdict that the 
person accused was not guilty, as choosing rather to die 
themselves with him, than to have his death laid at their 
doors; hereupon there arose a great clamor of the zealots 
upon his acquittal, and they all had indignation at the 
judges for not understanding that the authority that was 
given them was but in jest. So two of the boldest of them 
fell upon Zacharias in the middle of the temple, and slew 
him; and as he fell down dead, they bantered him, and said, 
"Thou hast also our verdict, and this will prove a more sure 
acquittal to thee than the other." . . . 132 

As I have pointed out, Matthew 24 is a continuation of the same 
speech Jesus begins in Matthew 23. Jesus leaves the interior of the 
temple, where the dialogue of Matthew 23 occurs, and then contin- 
ues this speech (Matthew 24) outside the temple. Therefore, the par- 
allel between Zacharias, son of Barachiah, and Zacharias, son of 
Baruch, both slain in the temple, should be understood to be in the 



194 Caesar's Messiah 

same stream of prophecy Jesus gives in Matthew 24, because it is 
from the same speech. In light of the numerous parallels in Matthew 
24 and War of the Jews, we are on solid footing when we understand 
this to be another example of Jesus "seeing" something in the future 
that Josephus documents. 

There is a problem with accepting that the parallel belongs in 
the same set as Jesus' famous eschatological prophecies, however. 
The character that Jesus refers to appeared not in his future but in 
his past. The prophet "Zachari'ah the son of Barachi'ah" is a charac- 
ter from the Old Testament, so how can Jesus be foreseeing him in 
the future? Further, how could Josephus then record that Jesus was 
right, that Zacharias' death occurred in 70 C.E., along with the other 
prophecies envisioned by Jesus in Matthew 23 and 24? 

I include Whiston's fascinating comment regarding the passage 
from Josephus. He was aware of the parallel between the Zacharias 
in Josephus and the Zachari'ah in the New Testament and was trou- 
bled by its implications. 

Some commentators are ready to suppose that this 
"Zacharias, the son of Baruch," here most unjustly slain by 
the Jews in the temple, was the very same person with 
"Zacharias, the son of Barachias," whom our Savior says 
the Jews "slew between the temple and the altar," Matthew 
23:35. This is a somewhat strange exposition; since 
Zechariah the prophet was really "the son of Barachiah," 
and "grandson of Iddo," Zechariah 1:1; and how he died, we 
have no other account than that before us in St. Matthew: 
while this "Zacharias" was "the son of Baruch." Since the 
slaughter was past when our Savior spake these words, the 
Jews had then already slain him; whereas this slaughter of 
"Zacharias, the son of Baruch," in Josephus, was then 
about thirty-four years future. And since the slaughter was 
"between the temple and the altar," in the court of the 
priests, one of the most sacred and remote parts of the 
whole temple; while this was, in Josephus' own words, in 
the middle of the temple, and much the most probably in 
the court of Israel only (for we have had no intimation that 
the zealots had at this time profaned the court of the 
priests. See B. V. ch. 1 . sect. 2). Nor do I believe that our 



Until All Is Fulfilled 195 

Josephus, who always insists on the peculiar sacredness of 
the inmost court, and of the holy house that was in it, would 
have omitted so material an aggravation of this barbarous 
murder, as perpetrated in a place so very holy, had that 
been the true place of it. 133 

Thus, Whiston attempts to explain away the troubling parallel 
by arguing that the slaying of Zacharias in Josephus could not be the 
incident that Jesus prophesied because 

1) Zacharias the prophet died before Jesus' birth. 

2) Barachiah and Baruch are different words. 

3) The "middle of the temple" is not "between the temple and 
the altar" 

Whiston's first point is irrelevant. His second ignores the many 
slight changes in spelling between the same words in Josephus and 
the New Testament. For example, a type of fish from the Sea of 
Galilee is spelled "Coracin" in Josephus and "Chora'zin" in the New 
Testament. His third point, regarding the possible differences in the 
location of the slayings, is contradictory of his acceptance of the 
other parallels between the same passages in the New Testament and 
Josephus as evidence of Christ's divinity. 

Further, it is obvious that Jesus' prophecy regarding, "Zechar- 
i'ah the son of Barachi'ah, whom you murdered between the sanctu- 
ary and the altar," 134 would have been understood by an uneducated 
first-century convert to Christianity as having come to pass by the 
passage in Josephus that states, "so two of the boldest of them fell 
upon Zacharias (the son of Baruch) in the middle of the temple, and 
slew him." 

Josephus and the New Testament consistently avoid verbatim 
parallels by one degree. In the chapter ahead on the Book of Daniel, 
Jesus speaks of the "abomination of desolation," while Josephus 
refers to the "end of the daily sacrifice." In fact, both expressions 
refer the same thing. Someone to whom the two works would be 
read would then make the connection between the "different" terms 
and thereby come to the conclusion that Jesus had been able to see 
into the future. By means of this name-switching technique, the 
authors of the New Testament and Josephus playfully hide the fact 



196 Caesar's Messiah 

from the uneducated masses for which Christianity was invented 
that the same source created both works. As I have shown above, 
Simon becomes Peter, John becomes "the disciple Jesus loved," etc. 

The two passages above regarding Zacharias use this technique. 
Jesus uses the expression "between the sanctuary and the altar," 
while Josephus uses the expression "middle of the temple." Jesus 
speaks of "Zechari'ah the son of Barachi'ah." Josephus refers to 
"Zacharias the son of Baruch." Different words again express the 
same concept. 

Since Jesus' eschatological prophecies all came to pass in the 
same chapter from War of the Jews, is it not more logical to presume 
that the Zacharias stories are another example of this set of fulfilled 
prophecies? 

However, pursuing this line of thought was impossible for 
Whiston. 135 To do so, he would have had to accept that both Jesus 
and Josephus were in error because they each "saw" something that 
could not have happened in 70 C.E. To Whiston, Jesus could not err, 
by definition, because he was God. Likewise, to Whiston, as to so 
many Christian scholars, Josephus could not be mistaken because 
his history records God's handiwork. 

This is a demonstration of the power of the combination of the 
two works. The belief that they came from two distinct sources cre- 
ates the effect that they demonstrate the supernatural, which is to 
say, Jesus' power of prophecy. The New Testament reveals the true 
"Son of God" because Christ's predictions come true. A "historian" 
records them. Josephus' histories must be accurate because they 
record the works of God. Jesus predicts the events that Josephus sees. 

Whiston's intellect is powerless to analyze what is right in front 
of him because of the divinity that the two works "demonstrate." If 
someone had suggested to Whiston that the Zacharias story in Jose- 
phus and Christ's prediction regarding Zacharias in the New Testa- 
ment combine to form a joke, he would not and could not have 
understood such humor. 

Of course, the passages would have been wickedly funny to an 
intellectual at the Flavian court — one who was familiar with the Old 
Testament and therefore understood the humor in the passages. 
Jesus, in the midst of a series of predictions, describes something 



Until All Is Fulfilled 197 

that has already occurred. Josephus then "records" it coming to pass, 
a second time, in the future. An absurd comic romp comparable with 
the woe-saying Jesus being struck dead by a stone. Imagine someone 
today who, claiming to be able to see the future, gives a list of events 
that will happen in the coming century. At the end of the list, he pre- 
dicts that Germany will lose World War II. The comedy is vaudevillian. 

There are several points. First, the most straightforward, non- 
supernatural explanation is that the same source produced both the 
Zechari'ah, son of Barachi'ah, passage in the New Testament and the 
Zacharias, son of Baruch, passage in Josephus. This is because it is 
unlikely that two distinct authors would have made the same mis- 
take. 

Further, the passages work together to create a humorous piece, 
another example of the New Testament and War of the Jews produc- 
ing a comic effect when read together. 

The New Testament passage regarding Zacharias is also notable 
in that it gives a point in time when "these things shall come upon 
this generation." In other words, Jesus is predicting exactly when the 
tribulation of the "wicked generation" shall occur — that is, directly 
following their killing of Zacharias. David Brown wrote in 1858: 

Does not this tell us plainly as words could do it, that the 
whole prophecy was meant to apply to the destruction of 
Jerusalem? There is but one way of setting this aside, but 
how forced it is, must, I think, appear to every unbiased 
mind. It is by translating, not "this generation,". . . but "this 
nation shall not pass away": in other words, the Jewish 
nation shall survive all the things here predicted! Nothing 
but some fancied necessity, arising out of their view of the 
prophecy, could have led so many sensible men to put this 
gloss upon our Lord's words. Only try the effect of it upon 
the perfectly parallel announcement in the previous chap- 
ter: "Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers . . . Where- 
fore, behold, I send you prophets, and wise men, and 
scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and 
some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and 
persecute from city to city . . . that upon you may come all 
the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of 



198 Caesar's Messiah 

righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, whom ye slew 
between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All 
these things shall come upon this generation" . . . (Matt, 
xxiii. 32, 34-36). Does not the Lord here mean the then 
existing generation of the Israelites? Beyond all question he 
does; and if so, what can be plainer than that this is his 
meaning in the passage before us? 136 

Brown is arguing that the context of Jesus' use of the word gen- 
eration in the Zacharias passage proves that Jesus is referring to the 
events of 70 C.E. I could not agree more. When Jesus states that the 
Jews have been wicked "from the blood of righteous Abel unto the 
blood of Zacharias" and that this generation will "fill up" on the 
measure of their fathers, a first-century convert to Christianity would 
have understood that he was "predicting" the Jews' destruction in 70 
C.E. Indeed, what other interpretation of Jesus' words is possible? 

In addition, by giving "the blood of Zacharias" as the end point 
of the Jews' wickedness Jesus is also clearly stating it that will be an 
event immediately before the "wicked generation" will "fill up" on 
their "tribulation." Jesus is clearly predicting that Zacharias' blood 
will be spilled immediately before the Jews' destruction by the Romans. 

This temporal parallel, that both Jesus and Josephus "saw" 
Zacharias as being killed by the "wicked generation" immediately 
before the destruction of the temple, is of great importance. By each 
placing the destruction of Zachariah immediately before the 
destruction of the temple, the authors of the New Testament and 
War of the Jews create another of their "milestones," conceptually 
parallel events that occur in the same sequence. 

The final "fulfilled prophecy" I want to analyze from Jesus' 
doomsday speech in Matthew is the one that he makes regarding a 
"stone" that will crush. In the passage, Jesus also predicts that another 
nation, obviously Rome, will be given the "Kingdom of God." 

"Have you never read in the Scriptures," said Jesus, "The 
Stone which the builders rejected has been made the Cor- 
nerstone: this Cornerstone came from the Lord, and is 
wonderful in our eyes? 



Until All Is Fulfilled 199 

That, I tell you, is the reason why the Kingdom of God 
will be taken away from you, and given to a nation that will 
exhibit the power of it. 

He who falls on this stone will be severely hurt; but he 
on whom it falls will be utterly crushed." 

Matt. 21 :44.6 

In the Whiston translation of War of the Jews, published by J. M. 
Dent in 1915, I found the following extraordinary pun regarding the 
"stone" that "crushed." 

First is the passage as I originally read it (in a more recent trans- 
lation). This is the translation given in most modern English ver- 
sions of Josephus: 

The engines, that all the legions had ready prepared for 
them, were admirably contrived; but still more extraordinary 
ones belonged to the tenth legion: those that threw darts 
and those that threw stones were more forcible and larger 
than the rest, by which they not only repelled the excursions 
of the Jews, but drove those away that were upon the walls 
also. Now the stones that were cast were of the weight of a 
talent, and were carried two furlongs and further. The blow 
they gave was no way to be sustained, not only by those that 
stood first in the way, but by those that were beyond them 
for a great space. As for the Jews, they at first watched the 
coming of the stone, for it was of a white color, and could 
therefore not only be perceived by the great noise it made, 
but could be seen also before it came by its brightness; 
accordingly the watchmen that sat upon the towers gave 
them notice when the engine was let go, and the stone 
came from it, and cried out aloud, in their own country's 
language, THE STONE COMETH, so those that were in its 
way stood off, and threw themselves down upon the ground; 
by which means, and by their thus guarding themselves, 
the stone fell down and did them no harm. But the Romans 
contrived how to prevent that by blacking the stone, who 
then could aim at them with success, when the stone was 
not discerned beforehand, as it had been till then; and so 



200 Caesar's Messiah 

they destroyed many of them at one blow. Yet did not the 
Jews, under all this distress, permit the Romans to raise 
their banks in quiet; but they shrewdly and boldly exerted 
themselves, and repelled them both by night and by day. 137 

In the 1915 Dent translation, this passage reads differently. 
"THE STONE COMETH" was translated as "THE SON COMETH." 
To determine the basis for this discrepancy I looked at the passage 
in the oldest Greek versions of War of the Jews. They all show the 
phrase as "ho huios erchetai" "huios" being the Greek word for 
"son." Modern translators have arbitrarily substituted the word they 
believed Josephus intended to use here (stone), refusing to translate 
the actual Greek word that appears in the oldest extant manuscripts. 
This is interesting because the word petros, which scholars have cho- 
sen to translate "stone," is in no way linguistically similar to the 
word huios "son," which is actually found in the passage. 

Whiston was aware that the original word in the phrase is 
"huios." In his translation of Josephus he left the footnote below, in 
which he attempts to explain how it came to pass that all the ancient 
works he used for his translation had used the Greek word huios for 
son. His explanation is fascinating in that it is an example of the 
kind of cognitive dissonance that he and other scholars have used to 
avoid seeing what is right in front of them. He admits that the only 
language in which "stone" and "son" might have been mistaken for 
one another, Hebrew, is not the language in which Josephus wrote 
War of the Jews. He also argues that alternative translations — arrow 
or dart — are "groundless conjectural alteration." Therefore, he really 
has no alternative than to accept the word as it is written — that is, 
"SON." However, he does not wish to do this either, leaving him 
with no explanation. 

What should be the meaning of this signal or watchword, 
when the watchmen saw a stone coming from the engine, 
"The Stone Cometh," or what mistake there is in the read- 
ing, I cannot tell. The MSS., both Greek and Latin, all agree 
in this reading; and I cannot approve of any groundless con- 
jectural alteration of the text from "ro" to "lop," that not the 
son or a stone, but that the arrow or dart cometh; as hath 



Until All Is Fulfilled 201 

been made by Dr. Hudson, and not corrected by Havercamp. 
Had Josephus written even his first edition of these books 
of the war in pure Hebrew, or had the Jews then used the 
pure Hebrew at Jerusalem, the Hebrew word for a son is so 
like that for a stone, ben and eben, that such a correction 
might have been more easily admitted. But Josephus wrote 
his former edition for the use of the Jews beyond Euphrates, 
and so in the Chaldee language, as he did this second edi- 
tion in the Greek language; and bar was the Chaldee word 
for son, instead of the Hebrew ben, and was used not only 
in Chaldea, etc. but in Judea also, as the New Testament 
informs us. Dio lets us know that the very Romans at Rome 
pronounced the name of Simon the son of Giora, Bar Poras 
for Bar Gioras, as we learn from Xiphiline. Reland takes 
notice, "that many will here look for a mystery, as though 
the meaning were, that the Son of God came now to take 
vengeance on the sins of the Jewish nation;" which is 
indeed the truth of the fact, but hardly what the Jews could 
now mean; unless possibly by way of derision of Christ's 
threatening so often made, that he would come at the head 
of the Roman army for their destruction. But even this 
interpretation has but a very small degree of probability. 138 

Whiston mentions the seventeenth century scholar and theolo- 
gian Reland's interpretation of the phrase. It is a most straightfor- 
ward understanding and based, of course, on the word "SON" being 
the word Josephus wrote. Reland understood that the phrase relates 
to the coming of the Son of God described in the New Testament. 
Further, Whiston's next comment — "which is indeed the truth of the 
fact, but hardly what the Jews could now mean; unless possibly by 
way of derision of Christ's threatening so often made, that he would 
come at the head of the Roman army for their destruction" — is so in 
accord with my thinking as to need almost no clarification. Whiston 
is specifically taking the position that I am arguing, that Christ's 
prophecies relate to the coming war between the Romans and the 
Jews, and that the "Son of God" would lead the Roman army. It is a 
small step then to the position that all of Jesus' warnings regarding 
the coming of the Son of God, who will bring destruction with him, 



202 Caesar's Messiah 

are predicting the Son of God who actually was at the head of the 
Roman army, Titus. 

It is also fascinating to notice how effective and long-lasting the 
anti-Semitism created by the New Testament has been. Notice that 
Whiston sees the destruction of the Jews as being a quite appropri- 
ate vengeance for their destruction of the Savior. It is easy to imag- 
ine how such a perspective would have affected his everyday deal- 
ings with Jews. Hence, if Rome did create Christianity to instill 
anti-Semitism, their invention certainly stands the test of time. It is 
still working thousands of years after its creation. 

To demonstrate the importance of the statement, the editor of 
Josephus has capitalized all the letters in the phrase. "THE SON 
COMETH." The editor of Josephus has identified the importance of 
the passage in the same way as he identified the phrase house of hys- 
sop in the "Son of Mary" passage cited earlier, by writing that phrase 
in italics. 

The point at which Josephus inserts the pun helps to make its 
meaning clear. The passage is at the very beginning of the Roman 
assault on Jerusalem, the exact moment in time when the son actu- 
ally did "cometh" to destroy Jerusalem. 

Further, it is implausible that someone would sound the alarm 
for a hurled projectile with such a lengthy phrase. "Incoming" is all 
a contemporary soldier utters before he hits the deck. "THE STONE 
COMETH" is too long a phrase to speak when milliseconds matter. 
This idea becomes even clearer in the original Greek, "ho petros 
erchetai" is not an expression that would naturally come to mind 
when a large stone is bearing down on someone. 

The substitution of "stone" for "son" actually continues another 
comic concept in the New Testament, "stone" being another of the 
important self-designations Jesus uses. Jesus compares himself to a 
stone, one that if it strikes will "utterly crush." In other words, he is 
saying that the "Son of God" is a "stone" who will crush those who 
reject him, obviously meaning the Jews. He states this specifically 
within the context of Rome's use of power. This is, of course, the 
same comic concept presented above, where Josephus records that a 
"Son," who is in fact a "stone," has crushed Jews. 



Until All Is Fulfilled 203 

Like Jesus' other comic self-designations, (fisher of men, living 
bread, living water) with "stone" the physical location where Jesus uses 
the expression is part of the joke. He calls himself a "stone" rejected 
by the builders (meaning the Jews), which will "utterly crush" those 
on whom it falls, at the exact spot where Josephus records that 
stones did actually fall on Jews during the war with Rome. 

In the "lunatic Jesus" passage above, Josephus continues the 
comic theme of Jesus calling himself a stone that will "crush." The 
lunatic Jesus is killed just as the Roman siege of Jerusalem begins. 
Josephus records this slapstick Jesus' last words: 

"Woe, woe to the city again, and to the people, and to the 
holy house!" And just as he added at the last, "Woe, woe to 
myself also!" there came a stone out of one of the engines, 
and smote him, and killed him immediately; and as he was 
uttering the very same presages he gave up the ghost. 139 

It is clear that a resident of the Flavian court would have found 
humor in each of Jesus' self-designations because of the locations 
where he pronounced them. Imagine a patrician with a copy of the 
Gospels in 80 C.E., knowing what the Roman war catapults had 
done to the Jewish defenders of Jerusalem, reading about a Messiah 
who, while standing beneath that city's walls, calls himself a stone 
and threatens to fall on and utterly crush Jews. For such an individ- 
ual, the humor would have been obvious. Could Jesus, by sheer 
chance, have given himself so many unique self-designations at the 
exact locations that would have made them humorous to patricians? 

When viewed as a group, the parallels between these two pas- 
sages and the comedy they create seems too exact to have occurred 
by chance. The choices are either to agree with Eusebius, who writes 

It is fitting to add to these accounts the true prediction of 
our Savior in which he foretold these very events. His words 
are as follows: "Woe unto them that are with child, and to 
them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your 
flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; For 
there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the 
beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." 



204 Caesar's Messiah 

. . . These things took place ... in accordance with the 
prophecies of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who by 
divine power saw them beforehand as if they were already 
present. . uo 

or accept the idea that the same source produced both the New 
Testament and War of the Jews. 



CHAPTER 9 



The Authors of the New Testament 



Josephus concludes War of the Jews with a series of passages that, I 
believe, lampoon the Apostle Paul as well as create a puzzle that 
identifies the inventors of Christianity. It struck me as logical for the 
authors to have concluded their work with a passage that identifies 
them — quite in keeping with the spirit of malicious playfulness that 
runs through their entire composition. 

I present the first of these passages below. This passage 
describes a group of Sicarii who escape into Egypt. Once there, they 
find themselves rebuked by "Jews of reputation" who inform the 
Romans of their presence in Egypt. The Sicarii are captured and then 
tortured in an attempt to make them "confess that Caesar was their 
lord," which they refuse to do. Their children also refuse to "name 
Caesar for their lord," in spite of their also being tortured. Thus, the 
passage clearly presents an unsolved problem for Titus: how to make 
the rebellious Jews call him, "Lord." 

WHEN Masada was thus taken, the general left a garrison 
in the fortress to keep it, and he himself went away to 
Cesarea; for there were now no enemies left in the country, 
but it was all overthrown by so long a war. Yet did this war 
afford disturbances and dangerous disorders even in places 
very far remote from Judea; for still it came to pass that 
many Jews were slain at Alexandria in Egypt; for as many of 
the Sicarii as were able to fly thither, out of the seditious 
wars in Judea, were not content to have saved themselves, 
but must needs be undertaking to make new disturbances, 
and persuaded many of those that entertained them to 



205 



206 Caesar's Messiah 

assert their liberty, to esteem the Romans to be no better 
than themselves, and to look upon God as their only Lord 
and Master. But when part of the Jews of reputation opposed 
them, they slew some of them, and with the others they 
were very pressing in their exhortations to revolt from the 
Romans; but when the principal men of the senate saw 
what madness they were come to, they thought it no longer 
safe for themselves to overlook them. So they got all the 
Jews together to an assembly, and accused the madness of 
the Sicarii, and demonstrated that they had been the 
authors of all the evils that had come upon them. They said 
also that "these men, now they were run away from Judea, 
having no sure hope of escaping, because as soon as ever 
they shall be known, they will be soon destroyed by the 
Romans, they come hither and fill us full of those calami- 
ties which belong to them, while we have not been partakers 
with them in any of their sins." Accordingly, they exhorted 
the multitude to have a care, lest they should be brought to 
destruction by their means, and to make their apology to 
the Romans for what had been done, by delivering these 
men up to them; who being thus apprised of the greatness 
of the danger they were in, complied with what was proposed, 
and ran with great violence upon the Sicarii, and seized upon 
them; and indeed six hundred of them were caught imme- 
diately: but as to all those that fled into Egypt and to the 
Egyptian Thebes, it was not long ere they were caught also, 
and brought back, whose courage, or whether we ought to 
call it madness, or hardiness in their opinions, every body 
was amazed at. For when all sorts of torments and vexa- 
tions of their bodies that could be devised were made use 
of to them, they could not get any one of them to comply so 
far as to confess, or seem to confess, that Caesar was their 
lord; but they preserved their own opinion, in spite of all the 
distress they were brought to, as if they received these tor- 
ments and the fire itself with bodies insensible of pain, and 
with a soul that in a manner rejoiced under them. But what 
was most of all astonishing to the beholders was the 
courage of the children; for not one of these children was 
so far overcome by these torments, as to name Caesar for 



The Authors of the New Testament 207 

their lord. So far does the strength of the courage [of the 
soul] prevail over the weakness of the body. 

The most basic "joke" of Christianity is that by replacing the 
Jewish "God" and "Son of God" with a "son of god" and a "god" who 
were in fact Roman emperors, it was possible to have the followers 
of their new religion "name Caesar for their lord" without their 
knowing it. The passage above explains why Titus invented Chris- 
tianity. Even torture could not bring the Sicarii to call him "Lord." 
Therefore, they had to be fooled into doing it. 

Continuing with the passage: 

Now Lupus did then govern Alexandria, who presently sent 
Caesar word of this commotion; who having in suspicion 
the restless temper of the Jews for innovation, and being 
afraid lest they should get together again, and persuade 
some others to join with them, gave orders to Lupus to 
demolish that Jewish temple which was in the region called 
Onion, and was in Egypt, which was built and had its 
denomination from the occasion following: Onias, the son 
of Simon, one of the Jewish high priests, fled from Anti- 
ochus the king of Syria, when he made war with the Jews, 
and came to Alexandria; and as Ptolemy received him very 
kindly, on account of hatred to Antiochus, he assured him, 
that if he would comply with his proposal, he would bring all 
the Jews to his assistance; and when the king agreed to do 
it so far as he was able, he desired him to give him leave to 
build a temple some where in Egypt, and to worship God 
according to the customs of his own country; for that the 
Jews would then be so much readier to fight against Anti- 
ochus, who had laid waste the temple at Jerusalem, and 
that they would then come to him with greater good-will; 
and that, by granting them liberty of conscience, very many 
of them would come over to him. 141 

The passage continues with a description of the "Jewish temple, 
which was in the region called Onion, and was in Egypt." Josephus, 
in a digression, nonchalantly points out that the temple is the one 
envisioned 600 years previously by the prophet Isaiah. This is 



208 Caesar's Messiah 

another example of Josephus' manipulating Jewish prophecy to 
coincide with Titus' campaign. 

So Ptolemy complied with his proposals, and gave him a 
place one hundred and eighty furlongs distant from Mem- 
phis. That Nomos was called the Nomos of Hello polls, 
where Onias built a fortress and a temple, not like to that at 
Jerusalem, but such as resembled a tower. He built it of 
large stones to the height of sixty cubits; he made the 
structure of the altar in imitation of that in our own country, 
and in like manner adorned with gifts, excepting the make 
of the candlestick, for he did not make a candlestick, but 
had a [single] lamp hammered out of a piece of gold, which 
illuminated the place with its rays, and which he hung by a 
chain of gold; but the entire temple was encompassed with 
a wall of burnt brick, though it had gates of stone. The king 
also gave him a large country for a revenue in money, that 
both the priests might have a plentiful provision made for 
them, and that God might have great abundance of what 
things were necessary for his worship. Yet did not Onias do 
this out of a sober disposition, but he had a mind to contend 
with the Jews at Jerusalem, and could not forget the indig- 
nation he had for being banished thence. Accordingly, he 
thought that by building this temple he should draw away a 
great number from them to himself. There had been also a 
certain ancient prediction made by [a prophet] whose name 
was Isaiah, about six hundred years before that this temple 
should be built by a man that was a Jew in Egypt. And this 
is the history of the building of that temple. 

The prophecy that Josephus is referring to is contained in Isaiah 
19:18-25. Josephus is clearly intending that the "intelligent reader" 
understand that the events he described in the passage demonstrate 
that Isaiah's prophecy had "come to pass." In the passage above, 
Josephus describes a "city of destruction in the land of Egypt," this 
being Alexandria, paralleling Isaiah's prophecy. Josephus, again par- 
alleling Isaiah, describes the temple as being "pillar" shaped. Fur- 
ther, the political conditions of the region at the time can clearly be 
seen as those that were envisioned by Isaiah's prophecy, in that there 



The Authors of the New Testament 209 

was a "highway out of Egypt to Assyria." Which is to say that Israel 
was now a "highway" between Assyria and Egypt, in that it had 
become a geographical link within the Roman Empire. This idea is 
especially clear when one considers that the three Roman legions 
that participated in the destruction of Jerusalem were the XV Apol- 
linaris Legion from Alexandria (Egypt) and the V Macedonica and X 
Fretensis Legions from Syria. 

So Josephus seems correct in his assertion that Isaiah's prophecy 
has "come to pass," with the events that he describes in the passage. 
The reader will notice, however, that Isaiah's prophecy is also mes- 
sianic. It states that the Lord shall send a "savior" who shall "smite" 
and "heal." The passage also states that the "Lord" shall "be known 
to Egypt," and that Israel shall be the "Lord's inheritance." 

There cannot be any doubt about who Josephus indicates is the 
"savior" that Isaiah's prophecy refers to. In fact, at this point in his- 
tory, the only individual who could have been the savior foreseen by 
Isaiah's prophecy is Titus. Only Titus could claim that he had Israel 
as an "inheritance" at this time. 

Caesar (Titus) gave order that all Judea should be exposed 
for sale; for he did not found any city there but reserved the 
whole country for himself. 142 

Therefore, Josephus is disclosing that Titus is the Savior, or the 
Messiah, by his unspoken contention that Isaiah's prophecy has 
come to pass. The prophecy of Isaiah that Josephus uses to identify 
Titus as the Savior is as follows. 

In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the 
language of Canaan, and swear to the Lord of hosts; one 
shall be called, The city of destruction. 

In that day shall there be an altar to the Lord in the 
midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof 
to the Lord. 

And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the 
Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the 
Lord because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a 
saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them. 



210 Caesar's Messiah 

And the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyp- 
tians shall know the Lord in that day, and shall do sacrifice 
and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and 
perform it. 

And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal 
it: and they shall return even to the Lord, and he shall be 
intreated of them, and shall heal them. 

In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to 
Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the 
Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with 
the Assyrians. 

In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with 
Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: 

Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be 
Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and 
Israel mine inheritance. 

Isaiah 19:18-25 

The "highway out of Egypt" that Josephus is alluding to by con- 
juring up Isaiah's vision is a "fulfillment" of another New Testament 
prophecy, the "highway for the Lord." This highway is foreseen by 
John the Baptist, who quotes another passage from Isaiah: 

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of 
the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for the Lord. 

Isaiah 40:3 

Though John the Baptist's statement regarding making a "high- 
way for the Lord" has always been seen as envisioning Jesus, the pas- 
sage from Isaiah that John is quoting from indicates that the "high- 
way" will exist only after the "warfare has ended." Therefore, the 
"Lord" John is predicting could only be Titus. 

"Comfort, O comfort My people," says your God. "Speak 
kindly to Jerusalem; And call out to her, that her warfare 
has ended, That her iniquity has been removed, That she 
has received of the Lord's hand Double for all her sins." 

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the 
way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for 
the Lord. 

Isaiah 40:1-3 



The Authors of the New Testament 211 

Josephus' narration then moves on and, in a sequence parallel 
to one in the New Testament, introduces a Paul, "Paulinus," at the 
same point that the New Testament introduces its Paul. This Paul, 
like his counterpart in the New Testament, has an impact on 
Judaism. Josephus states that he made the Jewish temple "entirely 
inaccessible." I regard the passage describing "Paulinus" as an obvi- 
ous spoof on the Apostle Paul. 

And now Lupus, the governor of Alexandria, upon the 
receipt of Caesar's Letter, came to the temple, and carried 
out of it some of the donations dedicated thereto, and shut 
up the temple itself. And as Lupus died a little afterward, 
Paulinus succeeded him. This man left none of those dona- 
tions there, and threatened the priests severely if they did 
not bring them all out; nor did he permit any who were 
desirous of worshipping God there so much as to come 
near the whole sacred place; but when he had shut up the 
gates, he made it entirely inaccessible, insomuch that there 
remained no longer the least footsteps of any Divine wor- 
ship that had been in that place. Now the duration of the 
time from the building of this temple till it was shut up 
again was three hundred and forty-three years. 



PARALLEL PASSAGES ABOUT PAUL 



JOSEPHUS 

Afterward, Paul(inus) succeeded 
him. This man left none of those 
donations there, and threatened the 
priests severely if they did not bring 
them all out; nor did he permit any 
who were desirous of worshiping 
God there so much as to come near 
the whole sacred place; but when he 
had shut up the gates, he made it en- 
tirely inaccessible. (War 7, 10, 2) 



BOOK OF ACTS 

I came to bring donations (Acts 

24:17) 

this is the man who is teaching 
everywhere against our people, our 
law and this place. . .they seized 
Paul and dragged him out of the 
temple, and immediately the doors 
were shut (Acts 21:28-30) 



212 Caesar's Messiah 

The spoof of Paul is interesting in that it brings up the question 
of when the different pieces of the New Testament were written. 
While it is possible that there were earlier versions of the New Tes- 
tament, at some point the four Gospels were unified into their pres- 
ent comic whole. Someone with editorial control manipulated the 
New Testament and War of the Jews into alignment with one another. 
In this sense, all of the four Gospels must have been written at the 
same time. 

Another question this analysis raises is, who maintained control 
over the finished product? The authors, having placed veiled revela- 
tions as to the religion's real origin in the four Gospels, had to devise 
some method to assure that these revelations would not be edited 
out by later redactors. For example, if one of the statements of fact 
in the different versions of Jesus' resurrections were changed or 
omitted, then the combined story would lose its logic. And the same 
problem would exist for the other half of this satirical system, the 
works of Josephus. 

Josephus concludes War of the Jews with the strange tale of a 
"Jonathan," one of the Sicarii, and a "Catullus," a Roman governor 
who makes a false accusation against Josephus, as well as a "Ber- 
nice" and an "Alexander," for starting Jonathan's "innovation." 
"Innovation," is the word Josephus uses to describe the religious 
sect of the Sicarii because it was a new version, or "innovation" of 
Judaism. In effect, the three were falsely accused of making someone 
create a new Judaic sect. 

Jonathan was clearly a messianic individual who, like Jesus, pre- 
vailed with the poor by showing them "signs and apparitions." 
Because Jonathan was the name of one the five sons of Matthias 
Maccabee, this is another example of the connection that Josephus 
draws between that family and the Sicarii. There is also a comic logic 
to Josephus' dealing with "Jonathan" at this point in War of the Jews. 
As he has already "dealt" with the other four sons of Matthias Mac- 
cabee — Eleazar, Simon, Judas, and John — he now concludes his 
work with the destruction of the last one, Jonathan. 

CONCERNING JONATHAN, ONE OF THE SICARII, THAT 
STIRRED UP A SEDITION IN CYRENE, AND WAS A FALSE 
ACCUSER [OF THE INNOCENT]. 



The Authors of the New Testament 213 

AND now did the madness of the Sicarii, like a disease, 
reach as far as the cities of Cyrene; for one Jonathan, a vile 
person, and by trade a weaver, came thither and prevailed 
with no small number of the poorer sort to give ear to him; 
he also led them into the desert, upon promising them that 
he would show them signs and apparitions. And as for the 
other Jews of Cyrene, he concealed his knavery from them, 
and put tricks upon them; but those of the greatest dignity 
among them informed Catullus, the governor of the Libyan 
Pentapolis, of his march into the desert, and of the prepa- 
rations he had made for it. So he sent out after him both 
horsemen and footmen, and easily overcame them, 
because they were unarmed men; of these many were slain 
in the fight, but some were taken alive, and brought to Cat- 
ullus. As for Jonathan, the head of this plot, he fled away at 
that time; but upon a great and very diligent search, which 
was made all the country over for him, he was at last taken. 
And when he was brought to Catullus, he devised a way 
whereby he both escaped punishment himself, and 
afforded an occasion to Catullus of doing much mischief; 
for he falsely accused the richest men among the Jews, and 
said that they had put him upon what he did. 

Now Catullus easily admitted of these his calumnies, 
and aggravated matters greatly, and made tragical excla- 
mations, that he might also be supposed to have had a 
hand in the finishing of the Jewish war. But what was still 
harder, he did not only give a too easy belief to his stories, 
but he taught the Sicarii to accuse men falsely. He bid this 
Jonathan, therefore, to name one Alexander, a Jew (with 
whom he had formerly had a quarrel, and openly professed 
that he hated him); he also got him to name his wife Ber- 
nice, as concerned with him. These two Catullus ordered to 
be slain in the first place; nay, after them he caused all the 
rich and wealthy Jews to be slain, being no fewer in all than 
three thousand. This he thought he might do safely, 
because he confiscated their effects, and added them to 
Caesar's revenues. 

Nay, indeed, lest any Jews that lived elsewhere should 
convict him of his villainy, he extended his false accusations 



214 Caesar's Messiah 

further, and persuaded Jonathan, and certain others that 
were caught with him, to bring an accusation of attempts 
for innovation against the Jews that were of the best char- 
acter both at Alexandria and at Rome. One of these, against 
whom this treacherous accusation was laid, was Josephus, 
the writer of these books. However, this plot, thus contrived 
by Catullus, did not succeed according to his hopes; for 
though he came himself to Rome, and brought Jonathan 
and his companions along with him in bonds, and thought 
he should have had no further inquisition made as to those 
lies that were forged under his government, or by his 
means; yet did Vespasian suspect the matter and made an 
inquiry how far it was true. And when he understood that 
the accusation laid against the Jews was an unjust one, he 
cleared them of the crimes charged upon them, and this on 
account of Titus's concern about the matter, and brought a 
deserved punishment upon Jonathan; for he was first tor- 
mented, and then burnt alive. 

But as to Catullus, the emperors were so gentle to him, 
that he underwent no severe condemnation at this time; yet 
was it not long before he fell into a complicated and almost 
incurable distemper, and died miserably. He was not only 
afflicted in body, but the distemper in his mind was more 
heavy upon him than the other; for he was terribly dis- 
turbed, and continually cried out that he saw the ghosts of 
those whom he had slain standing before him. Whereupon 
he was not able to contain himself, but leaped out of his 
bed, as if both torments and fire were brought to him. Thus 
temper grew still a great deal worse and worse continually, 
and his very entrails were so corroded, that they fell out of 
his body, and in that condition he died. Thus he became as 
great an instance of Divine Providence as ever was, and 
demonstrated that God punishes wicked men. 1 ' 13 

The passage creates a puzzle that uses the name-switching tech- 
nique found in the Decius Mundus puzzle cited earlier to identify 
the creators of Christianity. They are the individuals who were 
falsely accused by Catullus — Josephus, Bernice, and Alexander. The 



The Authors of the New Testament 215 

inventors of Christianity have signed their work, so to speak, in the 
correct place — at the end of their story. 

I believe that the "Bernice" and the "Alexander" in the passage 
are easily identified as Titus' mistress Bernice, and either Marcus 
Alexander, who actually was Bernice's husband but who died before 
the Jewish war, or his brother Tiberius Alexander, Titus' Jewish chief 
of staff during the siege of Jerusalem. These individuals had both the 
technical knowledge of Judaism and the ethical perspective required 
to create Christianity. The New Testament, continuing its parallels 
with War of the Jews, mentions in Acts both an Alexander, 144 believed 
by most scholars to actually be Tiberius Alexander, and a Bernice. 

To recognize that a puzzle exists the reader must, once again, 
recognize parallels — in this case, that Catullus and Judas, the iden- 
tifier of Jesus, share a number of attributes. 

The most obvious parallel between the two is that Catullus dies 
in the same improbable manner — unknown to medical science — as 
Judas. That is, "his very entrails . . . fell out of his body." This is an 
exact parallel to the death of Judas. And falling headlong, he burst 
asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. 145 

The description of Judas' bowels gushing out does not occur in 
the Gospels but in Acts. The event is in the New Testament at this 
point to maintain its parallel with the events in to War of the Jews. 
The parallel "gut spillers" create another prophecy in Jesus' ministry 
that is fulfilled in Titus' campaign. 

Judas and Catullus are also parallels in that both of their accu- 
sations involve a messianic individual, and neither is true. Josephus, 
Bernice, and Alexander certainly did not initiate a religion, or "inno- 
vation," led by a Messiah-like member of the Sicarii. They would 
have established just the opposite kind of "innovation." Jesus is, of 
course, famous for having been innocent. He was certainly not the 
type of Sicarii military leader that Pontius Pilate would have needed 
to crucify. In fact, Jesus was the exact opposite of such an individual. 

The technique establishing that there is a puzzle needing to be 
solved is the same one used throughout the New Testament and War 
of the Jews — that is, parallels. As with the Decius Mundus puzzle, 
unusual parallels between characters invite the reader to seek an 
explanation. But to solve the puzzle that the parallels create, the 



216 Caesar's Messiah 

reader must step out of the surface narrative and into another per- 
spective. The reader has to relate to the text from a broad rather than 
a narrow perspective and has to be prepared to think the "unthink- 
able," to seek a solution that is outside the flow of information pro- 
vided by the surface narration. 

I would note that the satirical system that unites the New Tes- 
tament and War of the Jews can be seen as an exercise in mind expan- 
sion, in that to solve the puzzles the reader must learn to think "out- 
side the box," so to speak. The authors were making the point that 
the narrow focus the Sicarii Zealots maintained regarding only a few 
scrolls was a limited and inaccurate mode of thought. The authors 
seem to be suggesting that only by seeing all sides of a problem can 
the truth be known. Therefore, it is possible that they designed the 
New Testament as a tool to intellectually uplift the messianic rebels. 
If such was the authors' intention, it only adds to the incredible 
nature of the work, which is perhaps more amazing when seen as a 
secular psychological device rather than as a world-historical reli- 
gious work. 



£ 



3 



Judas falsely accuses Jesus 


Judas truly accuses 


of being the Messiah of the 


Jonathan of being the 


Sicarii 


Messiah of the Sicarii 


GUT SPILLER 


UNTHINKABLE 


Catullus falsely accuses 


Catullus truly accuses 


Bernice, Alexander and 


Bernice, Alexander and 


Joseph us of putting up 


josephus of putting up 


Jonathan as a false Messiah 


Jesus as a false Messiah 


GUT SPILLER 


UNTHINKABLE 



The puzzle that explains the parallels between Judas and Catul- 
lus is designed to turn the two stories from tales that relate what is 



The Authors of the New Testament 217 

false into tales that state what is true. 

To solve the puzzle the reader must simply do as Decius 
Mundus recommends in the following chapter and "value not this 
business of names." To create the "truth," simply switch the names 
of the messiahs. Thus, had Judas named "Jonathan" as the Messiah 
who needed to be crucified, and Catullus had accused Josephus, Ber- 
nice, and Alexander as having put "Jesus" "up to what he did," both 
passages would be transformed into the truth. Jonathan was a Sicarii 
messianic leader who, from the perspective of the Romans, deserved 
to be crucified, and Jesus had "been put up to what he did" — that is 
to say, was created by — Josephus, Bernice, and Alexander. 

The fact that the "Alexander" who participated in the plot is 
described as Bernice's husband helps us see the subtle point. Because 
the Alexander who was Bernice's husband was dead before the war 
broke out, it is not Josephus, Bernice, and her late husband who are 
being identified here. It is the families of these individuals who 
authored the Gospels — the Flavians, Herods, and Alexanders. 

I would again note that the authors of the New Testament seem 
to be stating that one could not know the truth unless one consid- 
ers more than one book or scroll. In this case, Acts and War of the 
Jews create the parallels. I suspect that the authors are being critical 
of the Sicarii Zealots, who believed that they could know the truth 
from a very limited set of documents. The authors are presenting a 
real-life example of the inaccuracies that occur whenever readers 
cannot look beyond the single narrative in front of them. 

Josephus concludes War of the Jews with the following para- 
graph. He was insistent that he wrote the truth "after what manner 
this war of the Romans with the Jews was managed." 

And here we shall put an end to this our history; wherein we 
formerly promised to deliver the same with all accuracy, to 
such as should be desirous of understanding after what 
manner this war of the Romans with the Jews was man- 
aged. Of which history, how good the style is, must be left to 
the determination of the readers; but as for its agreement 
with the facts, I shall not scruple to say, and that boldly, that 
truth hath been what I have alone aimed at through its 
entire composition. 146 



218 Caesar's Messiah 



Josephus, like the Apostle Paul, reminds the reader over and 
over that he is writing the "truth." Perhaps this is one of the reasons 
the authors of the New Testament and the works of Josephus create 
the elaborate system by which their authorship of Christianity could 
be known. They did not wish those in the future, who would one 
day discover the truth, to think of them as liars. 



CHAPTER 10 



The Typological Method 



In creating the parallels between the "ministry" of Jesus and Titus' 
campaign, the authors of the New Testament were using a technique 
they were quite familiar with. They were experts at what scholars 
today call the Typological Method. In the Introduction, I presented 
examples showing that Moses is the "type" of Jesus. To achieve this 
effect, the authors of the Gospels used conceptual parallels and par- 
allel sequences of events. 

Another example of the way the authors of the New Testament 
use "types" is found in the story of Judas' punishment for his 
betrayal of Jesus. To create the story, the authors weave together a 
number of texts from the Hebrew Bible, primarily from Zechariah 
and Jeremiah. From Zechariah they take the thirty pieces of silver, 
the casting into the treasury, and the potter. 147 From Jeremiah they 
lake the purchasing of a field. They then claim that Judas' fate has 
"fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet." 148 

Having used literary parallels to link the characters in the 
Gospels to the Hebrew Bible, the authors then use the same motif to 
link Jesus to Titus in the future. In this way they create a seamless 
continuum from the Hebrew prophets to Jesus and then on to Titus, 
the real Christ. The parallels between Jesus' ministry and Titus' cam- 
paign simply confirm what Josephus plainly states; that Judaism's 
world-ruler prophecies envisioned Caesar. Jesus was not the Mes- 
siah but his messenger. 

Behold I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way 
before Me. And the Lord, who you seek, will suddenly come 
to his Temple . . . But who can endure the day of his com- 



219 



220 Caesar's Messiah 

ing? And who can stand when he appears? For he is like a 
refiners fire and like launderers soap. 149 

I found interesting the thought that the authors of the New Tes- 
tament and War of the Jews may have created the same outline 2,000 
years ago, as they began their construction of the two works. See the 
chart on page 221. 

The first savior of Israel was used as the "type" for Jesus, the 
second savior of Israel, who was then used as the "type" for Titus, 
the final savior of Israel. Though cleverly hidden, the relationship 
between the Gospels and War of the Jews is simply an extension of 
the typology used throughout Hebraic literature and the Gospels. 
For example, Dockery writes: 

Typological exegesis seeks to discover a correspondence 
between people and events of the past and of the present or 
future . . . Typological exegesis then is based on the convic- 
tion that certain events in the history of Israel prefigure a 
future time when God's purposes will be revealed in their 
fullness. 150 

As they had with the parallels between Jesus and Moses 
described in the Introduction, the authors of the Gospels and War of 
the Jews create a series of typologically related events that occur in 
the same sequence. This is the proof they left us that the ministry of 
Jesus was the "type" for the campaign of Titus, a fact they wished 
posterity to understand. For example, the "three crucified and one 
survives" passage recorded by Josephus is clearly noted as occurring 
after the captures on the Mount of Olives but before the condemning 
of Simon and sparing of John, so as to mirror the sequence of those 
events in the New Testament. Likewise, in the New Testament the 
description of the naked young man's escape on the Mount of Olives 
is given before its description of Jesus' capture; the events occur in 
the same sequence in Josephus' twin "Mount of Olives assaults." 

Though in the "cannibal Mary" passage, which is actually pre- 
sented in the chapter following the capture of Eleazar on the Mount 
of Olives, the specific time when it occurs is not given, Josephus 
does make it clear that it occurs during the siege of Jerusalem — that 
is, following the "demons of Gadara" incident but before the "three 



The Typological Method 221 



JESUS' MINISTRY 
(The Forerunner) 



TITUS' CAMPAIGN 
(The Messiah) 



Start of ministry in Galilee: Jesus 
begins ministry at Gennesareth and 
says "Follow me" and be "fishers of 
men" 


Start of campaign in Galilee: Titus 
has his "onset" at Gennesareth 
where his soldiers follow him and 
"fish" for men 


At Gadara, encounters legion of 
demons inside one man 


At Gadara encounters "Legion" 
possessed with wicked spirit 
coming from one man 


"Swine" run wildly and 2,000 
drown 


At Gadara, 2,000 of the "demons" 
do not drown 


At Jerusalem, the "Son of Mary" of- 
fers his flesh to be eaten 


At Jerusalem, the son's flesh is 
eaten by Mary 


Jesus envisions "signs" occurring 
before the temple's destruction 


Josephus records "signs" that 
occurred before the temple's 
destruction 


An escape by a naked individual at 
Jerusalem's northeast corner 


An escape by a "naked" individual 
at Jerusalem's northeast corner 


Messiah captured on the Mount of 
Olives 


Messiah captured on the Mount of 
Olives 


Simon's denials 


Simon's denials 


Three are crucified; one survives 


Three are crucified, one survives 


Joseph "Arimathea" takes survivor 
down from the cross 


Joseph bar Matthias takes survivor 
down from cross 


Simon is the rock upon which the 
new Church is to be built 


Simon is the "rock" upon which 
the new "Church" will be built 


Jesus sends Simon to a martyr's 
death at Rome but spares John at 
conclusion of ministry 


Titus sends Simon to martyr's death 
at Rome but spares John at conclu- 
sion of campaign 


Judas falsely accuses Jesus, and 
spills his guts (in the Book of Acts) 


Catullus falsely accuses against 
Josephus, Bernice and Alexander, 
and spills his guts 



222 Caesar's Messiah 

crucified and one survives" passage, which occurs following the 
siege. The same approach is also used with the parallel "signs before 
the destruction of the Temple" given by Jesus and Josephus. 

The twin sequences are difficult to explain away. As I have 
noted above, while it is at least possible to argue that the satirical 
parallels between Jesus' ministry and Titus' campaign occur by 
chance, if that were the case these accidents would occur in a ran- 
dom pattern. However, the sequences — "fishing for men at the Sea 
of Galilee," an individual filled with a "legion of wickedness," the 
drowning of the those possessed by the legion of wickedness, the 
twin assaults on the Mount of Olives (with first a "naked" man 
escaping and then the capture of a Messiah), Simon's denials, an 
episode where three are crucified but one survives, Joseph of "Ari- 
mathea" taking the survivor down from his cross, Simon con- 
demned, John spared, and a false accusation against the founder of 
a messianic religion by a "gut spiller" — all are concretely the same 
in both works. Further, the parallel "cannibal Mary" and "signs 
before the destruction of Jerusalem" passages both occur after the 
Gadara passages, but before the crucifixion passages, and thereby do 
not contradict the parallel sequences within the ministry of Jesus 
and Titus' campaign. 

Notice that there is no historical, logical, or theological reason 
for these satirically related events to have been recorded in the same 
sequence. Jesus was free to have concluded and not begun his min- 
istry with the phrase "fishers of men." The authors of the New Tes- 
tament were not forced to put the strange tale of Jesus condemning 
Simon while sparing John at the very end of the Gospels. Josephus 
was not required to have included the tale concerning the cannibal 
Mary in his description of the siege of Jerusalem, any more than it was 
required for Jesus to be at Jerusalem when he offered up his flesh. 

Further, the linking of the two specific events that form each 
parallel, which in turn becomes a link in the sequence of parallels, 
is self-evident. In other words, of the eleven events from Josephus' 
works cited above, the only possible episode from the Gospels that 
can be linked with his description of the fate of the rebel leaders is 
the passage in which Jesus condemns Simon and spares John. Like- 
wise, Josephus' episode in which "three were crucified but one sur- 



The Typological Method 223 

vived" can only relate to Jesus' crucifixion, and not to any other ele- 
ment from his ministry. 

Therefore, since no outside factor seems to be responsible for 
the sequence of parallels, I can calculate the odds on whether they 
could have occurred by chance. To do this, I start by simply assign- 
ing to each of the eleven New Testament events cited above the 
number in which it appears chronologically. Thus, 1 would number 
the "fishers of men" episode one, the individual filled with a "legion 
of wickedness" two, and so forth. If I then apply the same number- 
ing system to the eleven episodes cited above from the works of 
Josephus, the probability that I would assign the "fishing for men" 
episode the same number — one — that I gave its parallel episode in 
the New Testament would be only one in eleven. 

I then have a choice of which technique to use in continuing the 
process of calculating the odds on whether the sequence could have 
occurred by chance. The most conservative approach would be to 
assume that once one of the eleven episodes has been used, it can- 
not be used again. Using this approach, the probability would be cal- 
culated by a factorial of eleven, or 11x10x9x8x7x6x5x4x3x2x1 — 
which would equal one chance in 39,916,800. 

Another approach would be to assign truly random possibilities 
for each of the events. In other words, any episode could occur at 
any time and would not be excluded from the calculation by occur- 
ring before. The odds of two streams of eleven random episodes 
occurring in the same order would be eleven to the eleventh power, 
or one chance in 285,311,670,611. 

This type of calculation is the conventional way that probability 
analysis is applied to determine the likelihood that two sets of items 
were arranged in the same sequence by chance. For the purpose of 
the calculation, it is hypothetically assumed that an author has been 
given a set of eleven episodes to arrange. Once the author has 
arranged them, I discover that the same sequence can be found in 
another document. I then assess the probability that this feat was 
achieved by chance. 

Note that the calculation holds mathematically true regardless 
of the method the author uses to create his sequence. The author 
could have discovered the eleven items in an archive or could sim- 



224 Caesar's Messiah 

ply have been given the items and instructed to arrange them. The 
probability is the same, regardless. The probability level relates only 
to the likelihood that the sequence the author created would be 
identical to another sequence and does not presuppose anything 
about how the ordering was done. 

Notice also that each of these probabilities would be into the 
billions if I add to the chain of events the chance that the parallel 
"cannibal Mary" and "signs before the destruction of Jerusalem" 
passages would each occur after Gadara but before the crucifixions. 
It is not necessary to do this, however, since even the most conser- 
vative approach demonstrates that Jesus' ministry and Titus' cam- 
paign were deliberately linked. 

By using the factorial approach mentioned above, it is 99.999997 
percent certain that one account influenced the other. In other 
words, the likelihood that these parallel sequences occurred by 
chance is virtually zero, less than 0.000003 percent. 

The calculation does not, of course, indicate the direction of 
causality. However, since there is no plausible reason why the writ- 
ings of Josephus should have been created based on events in the 
Gospels, the presumed direction of the causality is that Titus' war 
record was created first, and Jesus' ministry was then created as a 
satire of militant Judaism, based on the events of Titus' campaign. 

Moreover, many of the parallels are too conceptually exact, in 
and of themselves, to be accounted for by random chance to be a 
serious explanation for their existence. For example, the "son of 
Mary" passage in War of the Jews contains the "coming to pass" of two 
of the hidden prophecies within the New Testament — Mary's heart 
being "pierced through" and her "fine portion" not being taken away. 

Also supporting the conclusion that the parallels were deliberately 
created is the fact that the locations for the specific events in them 
are the same. The "fishing for men" at Gennesareth, the encounter 
with "demons" at Gadara, Mary's son whose flesh was eaten at 
Jerusalem, the escape of the "naked" young men and the capture of 
the Messiah on the Mount of Olives, and finally Rome, where Jose- 
phus' Simon and the Christian Simon "both" met their fate. 

The comic structure of the parallels is also telling. Jesus appears 
to be speaking in a spiritual sense when he uses phrases like "fishers 



The Typological Method 225 

of men," "eat of my flesh," "resurrection," "the stone that crushes," 
"the temple that will be destroyed," "demons," and "follow me." In 
War of the Jews we learn that Jesus' words were not references to 
something spiritual. In fact, Jesus is speaking literally throughout 
the New Testament and those who see spiritual meaning in his 
words are being played for a fool. 

I believe that the Romans, with their use of comedy, were con- 
sistently ridiculing those who see symbolic meaning where there is 
none. In the Dead Sea Scrolls there are many allegorical interpreta- 
tions of passages from the Pentateuch. 151 This way of interpreting 
scripture no doubt helped form the theology of a "coming" Messiah 
that inspired the first-century Jewish rebels. The point I think the 
creators of Christianity were making with their use of comedy is that 
there are unlimited ways to interpret scripture and it is easy for the 
uneducated to see symbolic meaning where there is none. They 
made this point by creating the New Testament as an example. 



CHAPTER 1 1 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 



I believe that the Flavians did not intend to have sophisticated peo- 
ple like themselves take their invention, Christianity, seriously. Jose- 
phus describes the individuals who fomented the rebellion in Judea 
as "slaves" and "scum." These are the individuals that Rome would 
have seen as being susceptible to an infatuation with militant Judaism. 
It was for this group, hoi polloi, that they created the religion. 

This is why the authors of the New Testament and Josephus felt 
free to put in their creations the puzzles and lampoons that "noti- 
fied" the educated of the true origin of the religion. They did not 
believe that the masses — the uneducated slaves and peasants for 
whom Christianity was intended — would understand these puzzles, 
an assumption that has proven to be correct. However, they certainly 
wanted the puzzles to be solved eventually. Only then could Titus' 
greatest achievement — that of transforming himself into "Jesus," be 
appreciated. 

My interpretation of the following passages is that they create a 
puzzle whose solution shows how the puzzles in the New Testament 
can be solved. The puzzle itself is quite easy to solve; the only diffi- 
cult aspect of it is recognizing that the puzzle exists. 

There are three "pieces" to the puzzle. One of these is the Testi- 
monium Josephus, which is the name scholars have given to Jose- 
phus' one and only, very short description of the "Christ." The other 
two "pieces" of the puzzle are the two tales that immediately follow 
the Testimonium. 

To date, scholars have not recognized that the Testimonium and 
the two tales that follow it create a puzzle, simply because they have 



226 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 227 

failed to see that the three tales must have been created as an inter- 
related set — that is, they were created in direct relationship to one 
another. Once this proposition is understood, it becomes clear that 
they form a puzzle whose solution is also obvious. 

Here is the Testimonium and the two odd tales that follow it. 

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be 
Lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful 
works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleas- 
ure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many 
of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the 
suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had con- 
demned him to the cross, those that loved him did not at 
first forsake him, for he appeared to them alive the third 
day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thou- 
sand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe 
of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day. 
About the same time also another sad calamity put the 
Jews into disorder, and certain shameful practices hap- 
pened about the termpLe of Isis that was at Rome. I will now 
first take notice of the wicked attempt about the temple of 
Isis, and will then give an account of the Jewish affairs. 
There was at Rome a woman whose name was Paulina; one 
who, on account of the dignity of her ancestors, and by the 
regular conduct of a virtuous life, had a great reputation: 
she was also very rich; and although she was of a beautiful 
countenance, and in that flower of her age wherein women 
are the most gay, yet did she lead a life of great modesty. 
She was married to Saturninus, one that was every way 
answerable to her in an excellent character. Decius Mundus 
fell in love with this woman. He was a man very high in the 
equestrian order; and as she was of too great dignity to be 
caught by presents, and had already rejected them, though 
they had been sent in great abundance, he was still more 
inflamed with love to her, insomuch that he promised to 
give her two hundred thousand Attic drachmae for one 
night's lodging; and when this would not prevail upon her, 
and he was not able to bear this misfortune in his amours, 



228 Caesar's Messiah 

he thought it the best way to famish himself to death for 
want of food, on account of Paulina's sad refusal; and he 
determined with himself to die after such a manner, and he 
went on with his purpose accordingly. Now Mundus had a 
freed-woman, who had been made free by his father, whose 
name was Ide, one skillful in all sorts of mischief. This 
woman was very much grieved at the young man's resolu- 
tion to kill himself, (for he did not conceal his intentions to 
destroy himself from others,) and came to him, and encour- 
aged him by her discourse, and made him to hope, by some 
promises she gave him, that he might obtain a night's lodg- 
ing with Paulina; and when he joyfully hearkened to her 
entreaty, she said she wanted no more than fifty thousand 
drachmae for the entrapping of the woman. So when she 
had encouraged the young man, and gotten as much money 
as she required, she did not take the same methods as had 
been taken before, because she perceived that the woman 
was by no means to be tempted by money; but as she knew 
that she was very much given to the worship of the goddess 
Isis, she devised the following stratagem: She went to some 
of Isis's priests, and upon the strongest assurances [of con- 
cealment], she persuaded them by words, but chiefly by the 
offer of money, of twenty-five thousand drachmae in hand, 
and as much more when the thing had taken effect; and 
told them the passion of the young man, and persuaded 
them to use all means possible to beguile the woman. So 
they were drawn in to promise so to do, by that large sum 
of gold they were to have. Accordingly, the oldest of them 
went immediately to Paulina; and upon his admittance, he 
desired to speak with her by herself. When that was granted 
him, he told her that he was sent by the god Anubis, who 
was fallen in love with her, and enjoined her to come to him. 
Upon this she took the message very kindly, and valued 
herself greatly upon this condescension of Anubis, and told 
her husband that she had a message sent her, and was to 
sup and lie with Anubis; so he agreed to her acceptance of 
the offer, as fully satisfied with the chastity of his wife. 
Accordingly, she went to the temple, and after she had 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 229 

supped there, and it was the hour to go to sleep, the priest 
shut the doors of the temple, when, in the holy part of it, the 
lights were also put out. Then did Mundus leap out, (for he 
was hidden therein,) and did not fail of enjoying her, who 
was at his service all the night long, as supposing he was 
the god; and when he was gone away, which was before 
those priests who knew nothing of this stratagem were stir- 
ring, Paulina came early to her husband, and told him how 
the god Anubis had appeared to her. Among her friends, 
also, she declared how great a value she put upon this 
favor, who partly disbelieved the thing, when they reflected 
on its nature, and partly were amazed at it, as having no 
pretense for not believing it, when they considered the 
modesty and the dignity of the person. But now, on the third 
day after what had been done, Mundus met Paulina, and 
said, "Nay, Paulina, thou hast saved me two hundred thou- 
sand drachmae, which sum thou mightest have added to 
thy own family; yet hast thou not failed to be at my service 
in the manner I invited thee. As for the reproaches thou 
hast laid upon Mundus, I value not the business of names; 
but I rejoice in the pleasure I reaped by what I did, while I 
took to myself the name of Anubis." When he had said this, 
he went his way. But now she began to come to the sense 
of the grossness of what she had done, and rent her gar- 
ments, and told her husband of the horrid nature of the 
wicked contrivance and prayed him not to neglect to assist 
her in this case. So he discovered the fact to the emperor; 
whereupon Tiberius inguired into the matter thoroughly by 
examining the priests about it, and ordered them to be cru- 
cified, as well as Ide, who was the occasion of their perdi- 
tion, and who had contrived the whole matter, which was so 
injurious to the woman. He also demolished the temple of 
Isis, and gave order that her statue should be thrown into 
the river Tiber; while he only banished Mundus, but did no 
more to him, because he supposed that what crime he had 
committed was done out of the passion of love. And these 
were the circumstances which concerned the temple of 
Isis, and the injuries occasioned by her priests. 



230 Caesar's Messiah 

I now return to the relation of what happened about this 
time to the Jews at Rome, as I formerly told you I would. 

There was a man who was a Jew, but he had been 
driven away from his own country by an accusation laid 
against him for transgressing their laws, and by the fear he 
was under of punishment for the same; but in all respects 
a wicked man. He, then living at Rome, professed to instruct 
men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses. He procured also 
three other men, entirely of the same character with him- 
self, to be his partners. These men persuaded Fulvia, a 
woman of great dignity, and one that had embraced the 
Jewish religion, to send purple and gold to the temple at 
Jerusalem; and when they had gotten them, they employed 
them for their own uses, and spent the money themselves, 
on which account it was that they at first required it of her. 
Whereupon Tiberius, who had been informed of the thing by 
Saturninus, the husband of Fulvia, who desired inquiry 
might be made about it, ordered all the Jews to be banished 
out of Rome; at which time the consuls listed four thousand 
men out of them, and sent them to the island Sardinia; but 
punished a greater number of them, who were unwilling to 
become soldiers, on account of keeping the laws of their 
forefathers. Thus were these Jews banished out of the city 
by the wickedness of four men. 152 

First, it should be noted that the two tales that follow the Testi- 
monium are oddly tangential from the narration Josephus has been 
engaged in up unto it, which describes Pontius Mates' military 
activity in Judea. They stand out both because of their location, 
Rome, as well as their lightweight, ribald substance. 

Josephus is here using an unusual Judaic literary structure 
called "pedimental composition," in which the different passages 
form columns of a temple. Josephus uses a particular pedimental 
style of composition in which three pillars form a literary temple. 153 
The two side columns are small; both concern issues having to do 
with the Jews, and the left-hand column is the famous passage about 
Christ. Unfortunately, scholars have focused on the left-hand pas- 
sage, while ignoring the overall literary composition and the overall 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 23 1 

rhetorical structure, which indicates that the focus of attention 
should be on the central column. 

It was another comic stroke for Josephus to use a temple-like 
literary structure to describe an account of a temple. This pedimen- 
tal structure with the focus on the central passage similarly is used 
in the Book of Leviticus in which chapters 18 and 20 form the side 
columns and chapter 19 forms the central column of a literary temple. 

Moreover, there is a claim within the tales that is verifiably false. 
The temple of Isis was not destroyed during this era, a fact that Jose- 
phus was aware of. He wrote that Vespasian and Titus had spent the 
night before the celebration of the completion of the Judaic war at 
the temple of Isis. 154 This led me to question why Josephus know- 
ingly records an obvious spoof as history. 

To begin this analysis, I want to point out what I understand 
about the name of the protagonist in the first and longer tale, Decius 
Mundus. Mundus is the Latin word for "world," or "earth." The name 
Decius Mundus, I believe, is a pun on Decius Mus, the name of a 
father and son who were among Rome's greatest military heroes. 
Both father and son had "devoted" (devotio) themselves; that is to 
say, in the midst of fierce battles they had sacrificed themselves. The 
devotio was a religious ritual of the Roman army that was made to all 
gods, known and unknown, Roman and enemy. One of its purposes 
was to induce the gods of the enemy to defect to Rome. As I have 
mentioned, the Romans felt that they were divinely inspired to con- 
quer. By the beginning of the first century C.E., Rome had for hun- 
dreds of years fought and conquered not only their enemies, but also 
the gods of their enemies. The devotio was a technique for neutral- 
izing their enemies' gods. 

In the ritual, one Roman, together with the legions of the 
enemy would be "devoted" to the gods. In effect, one Roman would 
sacrifice himself for the good of the many. Thus, Decius Mus offered 
himself as a sacrifice to all the gods, agreeing to give up his life in 
exchange for their assistance in taking the enemy along with him to 
the underworld. 

At first both armies fought with equal strength and equal 
determination. After a time the Roman hastati on the left, 



232 Caesar's Messiah 

unable to withstand the insistency of the Latins, retired 
behind the principes. During the temporary confusion cre- 
ated by this movement, Decius exclaimed in a loud voice to 
M. Valerius: "Valerius, we need the help of the gods! Come 
now, you are a state pontiff of the Roman people — dictate 
the formula whereby I may devote myself to save the 
legions . . . 

". . . Janus, Jupiter, Father Mars, Quirinus, Bellona, 
Lares, New Gods, Native Gods, deities to whom belongs the 
power over us and over our foes, and ye, too, Divine Manes, 
I pray to you, I do you reverence, I crave your grace and 
favour that you will bless the Roman People, the Quirites, 
with power and victory, and visit the enemies of the Roman 
People, the Quirites, with fear and dread and death. In like 
manner as I have uttered this prayer so do I now on behalf 
of the common-wealth of the Quirites, on behalf of the 
army, the legions, the auxiliaries of the Roman People, the 
Quirites, devote the legions and auxiliaries of the enemy, 
together with myself to the Divine Manes and to Earth." 

... To those who watched him in both armies, he 
appeared something awful and superhuman, as though 
sent from heaven to expiate and appease all the anger of 
the gods and to avert destruction from his people and bring 
it on their enemies. All the dread and terror which he car- 
ried with him threw the front ranks of the Latins into con- 
fusion which soon spread throughout the entire army. This 
was most evident, for wherever his horse carried him they 
were paralyzed as though struck by some death-dealing 
star; but when he fell, overwhelmed with darts, the Latin 
cohorts, in a state of perfect consternation, fled from the 
spot and left a large space clear. The Romans, on the other 
hand, freed from all religious fears, pressed forward. 155 

Decius Mus' famous self-sacrifice was performed to "free the 
Romans from all religious fears." To accomplish this he offered his 
life to both the gods of the Romans (the Quirites) and the gods of 
his enemies. This technique was aimed at "appeasing" the gods of 
Rome's enemies and thus freeing the Romans from concerns about 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 233 

whether these gods would give divine assistance to their enemies. 
Notice that Decius also appealed to "new gods." I suspect that 
Decius "Mundus" or Decius "World" would have been understood 
by a patrician as a pun calling to mind Decius Mus on a worldwide 
scale. This wordplay to show a larger scale for Decius Mus is made 
clearer by the fact that "mus" means "mouse" in Latin. If a play- 
wright created a character named Napoleon World, it would be 
obvious which character in history he was lampooning. Decius was 
perhaps Rome's most famous war hero and all patricians were aware 
of his exploits. For example, the Roman satirist Juvenal, writing 
during the Flavian era, waxed glowingly about the heroics of Decius 
Mus. Juvenal clearly understood that his audience was familiar with 
Decius and his devotio, as he refers to both without explanation. 

In the story, the author writes that Decius Mundus had a "reso- 
lution to kill himself, (for he did not conceal his intentions to 
destroy himself from others)." Decius Mundus is, thus, parallel to 
both Decius Mus and Jesus in that none of them concealed from oth- 
ers their intention to destroy themselves. Josephus has placed this 
idea in parenthesis, underscoring the importance of it. This revela- 
tion makes clearer the connection between Decius Mus and Decius 
Mundus. A Roman patrician would have understood a character 
named Decius Mundus as a lampoon of Decius Mus. 

It also establishes a parallel between Decius Mundus and Jesus. 
This parallel is clear because Jesus went out of his way to make oth- 
ers aware of his coming self-sacrifice. "You know that after two days 
is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be cruci- 
fied." [Matthew 25, 26] 

The following passage from the Gospel of John likens Jesus' self- 
sacrifice to the devotio of Decius Mus. Notice that Caiaphas, the 
priest who will later oversee Jesus' crucifixion, states that one man 
should die for the people, and that the whole nation perishes not. This 
is the very definition of the devotio. Also, Caiaphas makes clear his 
belief that Jesus must be sacrificed to save all "the children of God," 
expressing the idea of a devotio on a worldwide scale. 

Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a coun- 
cil, and said, What do we? forthis man doeth many miracles. 



234 Caesar's Messiah 

If we Let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: 
and the Romans shall come and take away both our place 
and nation. 

And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high 
priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 

Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man 
should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish 
not. 

And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest 
that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that 
nation; 

And not for that nation only, but that also he should 
gather together in one the children of God that were scat- 
tered abroad. 

John 1 1 :47-52 

From the perspective of the Flavians, Jesus' self-sacrifice is much 
like a devotio. The religion that Jesus established with his death cer- 
tainly helped to neutralize the militaristic, messianic Judaism that 
the Flavians fought against. In fact, to the Flavians, whereas Decius 
Mus' sacrifice had only helped save a Roman legion, Jesus' sacrifice 
can be said to have helped to save the whole Roman world (mundus). 

An interesting historical point to this line of thought is that 
while Jesus is certainly meant to be understood as the Messiah 
whom Daniel predicted would be "cut off," the real meaning behind 
Jesus' self-sacrifice may lie not in Judaism, as has been universally 
believed, but in a rite of the Roman religion, as a spoof of the devotio. 

Whether this conjecture regarding the comic meaning of the 
name Decius Mus is correct, it is the case that "Decius," the name of 
Rome's most famous self-sacrifice, is the name of the hero of the tale 
that directly follows the Testimonium, Josephus' description of his- 
tory's most famous self-sacrifice. I will show below that Decius 
Mundus and Jesus share a much more profound and unique parallel. 

The clearest clue Josephus provides to inform us that we are 
dealing with a puzzle is that both the story of Decius and Paulina 
and the story of Fulvia have the same plot. As I have shown, paral- 
lels within the New Testament and War of the Jews are significant. In 
both tales, wicked priests deceive a woman of "dignity" and in both 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 235 

tales the woman's weakness for religion is exploited. Further, not 
only do both stories have the same plot, but they also contain a 
number of elements that are interchangeable. Both of these deceived 
women of dignity, amazingly have husbands named Saturninus. 
Both these husbands named "Saturninus" just happen to know the 
Emperor Tiberius, to whom each husband goes to complain about 
what has been done to his wife. In both tales, among other punish- 
ments, Tiberius then "banishes" one or more of the perpetrators. 

Josephus also provided other statements to help the reader rec- 
ognize that the two stories are to be understood as parallel and 
therefore interchangeable. First, he reverses the order in which he 
states that he will describe them. 

About the same time also another sad calamity put the 
Jews into disorder, and certain shameful practices hap- 
pened about the temple of Isis that was at Rome. 

I will now first take notice of the wicked attempt about 
the temple of Isis, and will then give an account of the Jew- 
ish affairs. 

Further, at the beginning of the third story Josephus claims to 
be returning to an episode about the Jews "at Rome" as he had "for- 
merly" stated. 

I now return to the relation of what happened about this 
time to the Jews at Rome, as I formerly told you I would. 

However, it was the "shameful practices at the temple of Isis' 
that Josephus previously claimed to have occurred "at Rome," not 
the episode regarding the Jews. Josephus does not mention where 
the "sad calamity [that] put the Jews into disorder" occurred. He last 
mentioned the Jews in a story regarding their persecution by Pon- 
tius Pilate in Judea. Josephus appears to be treating the two stories 
as though they are interchangeable. In doing so he continues the 
strange "logic" that exists between them, since their only significant 
differences are in the names of some of the elements in them. 

It is also notable that Paulina "began to come to the sense of the 
grossness of what she had done, and rent her garments." The rend- 
ing of garments is a well-known Jewish expression of grief and is 



236 Caesar's Messiah 

actually required by Jewish religious law in some instances. In the 
Gospel of Mark, for example, when the High Priest who questions 
Jesus hears him refer to himself as the "Son of Man," he rends his 
garments. He does this because in the Sanhedrin it states that a 
judge who has heard blasphemous words must do so. The Talmud 
recounts ten "sad accidents" for which Jews are instructed to rend 
their garments. Josephus also records numerous occasions in his 
histories where Jews rend their garments as an expression of grief. 
Therefore, why would Paulina, a member of the cult of Isis, be the 
one to rend her garments and not Fulvia, the Jew, when she has the 
same experience? 

There is another clue, a parallel that links the Testimonium to 
the tale of Decius Mundus. It is one of the most significant parallels 
that I will present to the reader in this work. 

The Testimonium describes Jesus' resurrection, stating that he 
"appeared to them alive again on the third day." Decius Mundus also 
appears to Paulina on the third day. There is, of course, a difference. 
Whereas Jesus appears on the third day to show that he is a God, 
Decius appears on the third day to announce that he is not a god. 

It is implausible that something as unusual as two "third-day 
divinity declarations" would wind up next to one another by chance. 
The Testimonium contains the only non-New Testament first-cen- 
tury description of the life of Jesus. The probability that a mirror 
opposite of Jesus' resurrection, a singular event in literature, would 
occur by chance in the paragraph following its only historical docu- 
mentation is, I believe, too low for consideration. In fact, in all of lit- 
erature these are the only two stories I am aware of that describe any- 
one coming on a "third day" to proclaim that he is or is not a god. 
The only rational explanation is that this mirror-opposite parallel 
has, for some reason, been placed next to the Testimonium deliberately. 

Another connection between Decius and Jesus is the fact that 
Anubis, the god Decius pretends to be, is a god with many parallels 
to Christ. Anubis, like Jesus, is a son of god, and is referred to as the 
"Royal Child" within the cult of Isis. More importantly, Anubis is a 
god who comes back from the dead. The cult of Isis actually cele- 
brated his death at the hands of Set and his subsequent resurrection. 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 237 

The myth of Anubis' resurrection also contains, like that of Jesus, a 
strong eschatological message. 

All three stories are described as occurring "at about same 
time," which links them to one another temporally. While it is 
hardly unusual for events to be said to occur at about the same time, 
Josephus links the Fulvia story to the Testimonium in another, more 
unique way. In the passage he writes 

There was a man who was a Jew, but he had been driven 
away from his own country by an accusation laid against 
him for transgressing their laws, and by the fear he was 
under of punishment for the same; but in all respects a 
wicked man. He, then living at Rome, professed to instruct 
men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses. 

There is a known individual who was a Jew and had been driven 
away from his own country and had had accusations laid against 
him for transgressing the laws of the Jews. He was also under fear of 
punishment for these transgressions and was known to have lived at 
Rome, and professed to instruct men in his understanding of the 
laws of Moses. The character is, of course, the Apostle Paul. 

But, when the seven days were nearly over, the Jews from 
the province of Asia, having seen Paul in the Temple, set 
about rousing the fury of all the people against him. 

They laid hands on him, crying out, "Men of Israel, 
help! help! This is the man who goes everywhere preaching 
to everybody against the Jewish people and the Law and 
this place . . ." 

The excitement spread through the whole city, and the 
people rushed in and gates were immediately closed. 

But while they were trying to kill Paul, word was taken 
up to the Tribune in battalion, that all Jerusalem was in a 
ferment. 

He instantly sent for a few soldiers and their officers, 
and came down among the people with all speed. At the 
sight of the Tribune and the troops they ceased beating Paul. 

When Paul was going up the steps, he had to be carried 
by the soldiers because of the violence of the mob; 



238 Caesar's Messiah 

I could not discover that he had done anything for 
which he deserved to die; but as he has himself appealed to 
the Emperor, I have decided to send him to Rome. 156 

That the wicked man in the Fulvia story can be seen as a lam- 
poon of Paul seems difficult to dispute. 157 Josephus links the Fulvia 
story to the Testimonium in yet another way. 

These men persuaded Fulvia, a woman of great dignity, and 
one that had embraced the Jewish religion, to send purple 
and gold to the temple at Jerusalem . . . 

Purple was the royal color in the first century. Sending purple to 
the temple at Jerusalem suggests that the ruse the wicked priests use 
to fool Fulvia somehow involves a king, or a person of royal rank, 
among the Jews. Perhaps one who is religious as well as secular. 
Because Josephus has indicated that this event occurs at "about the 
same time" that Jesus lived, he would be at least a candidate for the 
one referred to as royal. Indeed, since the reference to purple occurs 
on the same page as the Testimonium, the only historical description 
of Jesus, what other "king of the Jews" can possibly come to mind? 

So Jesus came out, wearing the wreath of thorns and the 
purple cloak. 

Then they began to march up to Him, saying in a mock- 
ing voice, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 

John 19:3 

All the "clues" above work together to suggest that some rela- 
tionship exists among all three stories. For example, the Testimo- 
nium seems related to the Decius story because they share third-day 
divinity declarations. Likewise, the Fulvia story must be related to 
the Decius story because they share the same plot, the name of both 
husbands is the same, etc. The parallels and interchangeable ele- 
ments within the three stories show that the author has deliberately 
established some relationship among them that is not apparent on 
the surface, some problem the reader must attempt to "solve." In 
other words, the three stories are a puzzle. 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 239 

Once the three stories are seen as a puzzle the solution becomes 
obvious. Josephus actually has Decius Mundus state the solution to 
the puzzle within the lampoon: 

. . . value not the business of names . . . 

Decius did not value "the business of names" and took the name 
of Anubis. To solve the puzzle of Decius, the reader need only do the 
same. 

To solve the puzzle, the reader must simply switch the names of 
the characters and religions that Josephus has identified as parallel, 
so that while the stories will be the same, the names of the charac- 
ters will be different. This technique is used throughout the New 
Testament and War of the Jews. The name of a character in one story 
is given to a character in another, parallel tale. 

In the story of Decius Mundus simply switch the name of the 
character Paulina, who is a member of Cult of Isis, with Fulvia from 
the third story, who is a member of the Jewish religion. Notice that 
Josephus has actually shown us that these two characters are inter- 
changeable. Both women have an experience with wicked priests; 
both have husbands with the same name; both husbands appeal to 
Tiberius; and both women share the quality of dignity. 

Josephus has also indicated that the cult of Isis and the Jewish 
religion are interchangeable by deliberately reversing which story he 
tells first and which religion was "at Rome." 

The reader can now replace the name of the character "Decius 
Mundus" with "Christ" from the first story, the Testimonium. Again, 
Josephus has shown that the names are interchangeable by the par- 
allel attributes of these two characters. They both claim to be gods, 
they both make revelations regarding their divinity on the third day; 
and they both have made public resolutions to sacrifice themselves. 

The new Decius Mundus story, created by switching the names 
of the characters and religions Josephus has identified as inter- 
changeable, can be summarized as follows: 

Decius Mundus, a Roman, is desirous of Fulvia, a Jew of dignity, 
whom he cannot seduce with money. Learning that her weakness is 
her religion, he pays wicked priests to convince her that he is the 



240 Caesar's Messiah 

Christ, so that he can "screw" her. On the third day, he reappears to 
tell her he is not really the Messiah but received pleasure by pre- 
tending to be a god. The Jews are then banished and their temple 
destroyed. 

While this new story is still a satire, it is one whose meaning can 
easily be grasped. The translation that I offer is as follows: 

Rome desires Judea but cannot tempt it with wealth because of 
the staunch religious convictions of its people. Therefore, a Roman 
fools the Jewish Zealots into believing that he is the Christ. He pays 
wicked priests to help him carry out the plot. The authors of Chris- 
tianity "enjoy" the experience of pretending to be the Messiah. 

The unnamed Jew in the final tale who "professed to instruct 
men in the wisdom of the laws of Moses' is identified as Paul in the 
parallel description in Acts 25 given above. Josephus also assists the 
reader with this identification by beginning the parallel stories with 
descriptions of the genders of "Paulina" and the "Jew at Rome." 
Once the reader knows that the stories are designed to have inter- 
changeable elements, it is not difficult to see that by switching their 
genders Paulina can become Paul, which completely clarifies the 
identity of the "Jew at Rome." 

The story created by solving the puzzle reveals how Caesar 
fooled the Jews into calling him "Lord" without their knowing it by 
simply switching his name to Jesus — the great secret of Christianity. 
It also reveals the keys to understanding the comic story within the 
New Testament — a character may take on another name, stories that 
share parallels can be combined to create another story, and an 
unnamed character in one passage will have the same name as a 
character in a parallel passage. 

While the puzzle is simple, the technical idea behind it is ingen- 
ious. The story that emerges when the reader reverses the inter- 
changeable characters and religions can be read literally as the his- 
torical event Josephus recorded. Thus, Josephus, as he reminds the 
reader so often, has written the "truth." 

The new Decius Mundus story created by switching the names 
found in the three tales fits naturally into the history Josephus is 
relating. It connects to the passages before it that have to do with the 
Jews' reaction to Caesar's effigies in Jerusalem and the Roman effort 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 241 

to buy favor with the Jews. The stories that it replaces do not con- 
nect to the passages before them, are incoherent, and have a sense of 
fantasy. Josephus has, as he reminded us so often, written the 
truth — the truth was just contained in a puzzle. 

The puzzle's main purpose was to show the method by which 
the true identities of the characters in the New Testament and War 
of the Jews can be known, which is simply to combine the stories 
that contain parallels. This technique reveals the identities of the 
"certain young man" captured on the Mount of Olives, Mary's 
unnamed son whose flesh was eaten, the Apostles Simon and John 
and, ultimately, Jesus himself. Also notice that Decius' seduction of 
Paulina occurs "in the dark," like Mary Magdalene's mistaking 
Lazarus' tomb for that of Jesus, described previously. 

The Testimonium is found in Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus' 
second work of history, which he purportedly wrote during the reign 
of Titus' brother Domitian. If Christianity was created by the Fla- 
vians so that Caesar could secretly become the Messiah, then Domit- 
ian could have seen himself as "Jesus" once he became emperor, fol- 
lowing Titus' death. Domitian's obsession with his divinity was well 
known. He demanded, for example, to be addressed by members of 
the Roman senate as "Master and god." Thus, Domitian, while over- 
seeing the production of Antiquities of the Jews, may have been the 
basis for the character Decius Mundus. 

This conjecture is supported by an interesting parallel between 
episodes in the life of Domitian and the tale of Decius Mundus. The 
Flavians overthrew Vitellius, the last of the Julio-Claudian emperors, 
with a battle that took place in Rome in 69 C.E. During the battle 
Domitian became trapped behind enemy lines. To escape, he donned 
a mask of Anubis, exactly as Decius Mundus does, and pretended to 
be a priest of Isis. 

Also of interest is the passage from the Decius Mundus story 
regarding the character named "Ide." 

... as well as Ide, who was the occasion of their perdition ... 

The ancient Roman calendar celebrated the Ides of the month 
on the fifteenth of March, May, July, and October. In the other 
months the Ides occur on the thirteenth. Nisan, which actually over- 



242 Caesar's Messiah 

laps March and April, is usually translated as April. Josephus dates 
the Passover to the fourteenth of Nisan. 

As now the war abroad ceased for a while, the sedition 
within was revived; and on the feast of unleavened bread, 
which was now come, it being the fourteenth day of the 
month Xanthicus [Nisan], when it is believed the Jews were 
first freed from the Egyptians . . . 158 

I suggest that the phrase "the occasion of their perdition" is 
wordplay referring to the Ides of Nisan, the date of Jesus' crucifixion 
as recorded in the Gospel of John, which is the Gospel Josephus uses 
to link dates from his history to the crucifixion — the date of the 
"perdition." 

In any event, my interpretation of the three stories resolves 
many longstanding questions about how they relate to one another. 
This theory reconciles all the many elements within the three stories 
that have struck. Further, this interpretation resolves the longstand- 
ing debate over how the three stories relate to the passages that are 
immediately before and after them. 

The first sentence in the story of Decius Mundus states that 
"another sad calamity threw the Jews into disorder." "Disorder" in 
Greek (thorubeo) also appears in the first two passages in the chap- 
ter, which immediately precede the Testimonium. By starting with a 
reference to "another disorder," the story of Decius Mundus seems 
to ignore the Testimonium. This fact has led some scholars to suspect 
that the Testimonium was therefore inserted into Antiquities by later 
Christian redactors. 

G. A. Wells in The Jesus Myth argues this point in the following 
way: 

The word (disorder) connects this introduction of 4 (the tale 
of Decius Mundus), with the "uproars" specified in 1 and 2. 
Thus 3 — the passage about Jesus — occurs in a context 
which deals with uproar bringing danger or misfortune to 
the Jews. That 4 follows immediately after 2 is obvious from 
the opening words of 4 — "Another calamity." There is no 
possible reference to 3. 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 243 

Wells' argument is only one of the various ways in which schol- 
ars have tried to explain the strange positioning of the Testimonium. 
In this case, Wells suggests two reasons for suspecting that the Tes- 
timonium was inserted by later Christian redactors between the Decius 
story and the preceding passage regarding Pilate. His first argument 
is that since the word "disorder" occurs in passages one and two and 
is not found in the third passage of the chapter, the Testimonium, and 
but reappears in passage four, this suggests that four should come 
after two. Wells also argues that since the expression "another cala- 
mity," which begins passage four, cannot be referring to the Testimo- 
nium, it must originally have followed the second passage, which in 
fact, describes a calamity. 

Many scholars have noticed this apparent lack of continuity 
between the Testimonium and the chapter that contains it. H. St. John 
Thackeray in his 1929 work on Josephus argues, like Wells, that the 
lack of continuity on the subject of "disorder" suggests to him that 
redactors, to make history conform to their faith, created and 
inserted the Testimonium. Thackeray concludes that the argument 
that the Testimonium may have been inserted by redactors "carries 
great weight." 

Scholars like Thackeray and Wells have mistakenly seen a lack 
of continuity between the Testimonium and the two stories that fol- 
low it and the rest of Josephus' history simply because they have 
failed to recognize that the three stories could only have been created 
in direct relationship to one another and are not independent tales. 

To argue that the Testimonium was inserted into Jewish Antiqui- 
ties by later Christian redactors who placed it by chance between the 
stories about Pilate's "disorders" and the tale of Decius Mundus is 
illogical. This is because such an argument is based solely upon the 
perceived gap in continuity on the subject of "disorders" and ignores 
the continuity created by the parallel "third-day" appearances of 
Jesus and Decius. Since riots were common in the works of Josephus 
and third-day declarations regarding divinity are unique in litera- 
ture, this parallel is clearly more important. It connects the Testimo- 
nium to the story of Decius in a far stronger manner than the lack of 
the word "disorder" in the Testimonium suggests a disconnect. 



244 Caesar's Messiah 

Therefore, all three stories must have been created together. This 
small chain of logic has far-reaching consequences because it also 
demonstrates a purpose for their joint creation. If one accepts that 
they are a related set created for some purpose, this interpretation 
seems the only one possible. 

It is useful to list the problematic or seemingly incoherent 
aspects of the three stories that this interpretation resolves to show 
how much explanatory power it possesses. 

The first resolution to a "problem" I want to show is the unnat- 
ural manner in which the Testimonium and its two following tales fit 
into the narration of Josephus' history the problem of a gap in con- 
tinuity that Wells and Thackeray noted above. To clarify for the 
reader the nature of this discontinuity, I present the following 
sequence: 

18:35 Pilate arrives in Judea to abolish Jewish laws 

18:55-59 Pilate introduces imperial images in the temple, 

causing a "tumult" 
18:60-62 Pilate tries to build an aqueduct, causing another 

"tumult" 
18:63-64 The Testimonium appears 
18:65-80 The Decius Mundus story appears 
18:81-84 The Ful via story appears 
18:85-7 Pilate has a confrontation with the Samaritans 
18:88-9 Pilate is removed as procurator 

When the sequence of events is viewed in this manner, it is easy 
to see why scholars like Wells and Thackeray have questioned 
whether later redactors inserted the Testimonium. The historical nar- 
ration both before and after the Testimonium is exclusively about 
Pilate. Notice, however, that the Decius and Fulvia stories also stand 
out. None of the stories in this "set" discusses Roman activity in 
Judea, the theme of the surrounding passages. This interpretation of 
the "puzzle" resolves this lack of continuity in Josephus' narration. 
Further, the satire revealed by this solution fits perfectly into the 
flow of the narration. 

This interpretation also resolves the apparently inappropriate 
opening words of the Decius story, "Another calamity." As mentioned 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 245 

above, many scholars have believed that this phrase could not pos- 
sibly relate to the Testimonium and Jesus. However, within the con- 
text of my explanation, the positioning of the phrase makes perfect, 
though ironic, sense. The Romans invented Christianity for the 
express purpose of bringing a calamity on the Jews and throwing 
them into disorder. Readers will recall how in the "Son of Mary" pas- 
sage Mary uses the word "calamity" to describe the effect that her 
son becoming a "by-word to the world" will have upon the Jews. 

Come on; be thou my food, and be thou a fury to these sedi- 
tious varlets, and a by-word to the world, which is all that is 
now wanting to complete the calamities of us Jews. 

The three passages that make up the puzzle are related to the 
two passages that precede the Testimonium in another way. The first 
two passages of the short five-passage chapter satirically state the 
reasons that the Flavians invented Christianity, as well as the fact 
that by inventing the religion, the Romans were, in effect, taking 
over the Sicarii movement. Below are these two passages. 

1. BUT now Pilate, the procurator of Judea, removed the 
army from Cesarea to Jerusalem, to take their winter quar- 
ters there, in order to abolish the Jewish laws. So he intro- 
duced Caesar's effigies, which were upon the ensigns, and 
brought them into the city; whereas our law forbids us the 
very making of images; on which account the former procu- 
rators were wont to make their entry into the city with such 
ensigns as had not those ornaments. Pilate was the first 
who brought those images to Jerusalem, and set them up 
there; which was done without the knowledge of the people, 
because it was done in the night time; but as soon as they 
knew it, they came in multitudes to Cesarea, and interceded 
with Pilate many days that he would remove the images; 
and when he would not grant their requests, because it 
would tend to the injury of Caesar, while yet they perse- 
vered in their request, on the sixth day he ordered his sol- 
diers to have their weapons privately, while he came and 
sat upon his judgment-seat, which seat was so prepared in 
the open place of the city, that it concealed the army that lay 



246 Caesar's Messiah 

ready to oppress them; and when the Jews petitioned him 
again, he gave a signal to the soldiers to encompass them 
routed, and threatened that their punishment should be no 
less than immediate death, unless they would leave off dis- 
turbing him, and go theirways home. But they threwthem- 
selves upon the ground, and laid their necks bare, and said 
they would take their death very willingly, rather than the 
wisdom of their laws should be transgressed; upon which 
Pilate was deeply affected with their firm resolution to keep 
their laws inviolable, and presently commanded the images 
to be carried back from Jerusalem to Cesarea. 

2. But Pilate undertook to bring a current of water to 
Jerusalem, and did it with the sacred money, and derived 
the origin of the stream from the distance of two hundred 
furlongs. However, the Jews were not pleased with what 
had been done about this water; and many ten thousands of 
the people got together, and made a clamor against him, 
and insisted that he should leave off that design. Some of 
them also used reproaches, and abused the man, as 
crowds of such people usually do. So he habited a great 
number of his soldiers in their habit, who carried daggers 
under their garments, and sent them to a place where they 
might surround them. So he bid the Jews himself go away; 
but they boldly began casting reproaches upon him, he gave 
the soldiers that signal which had been beforehand agreed 
on; who laid upon them much greater blows than Pilate had 
commanded them, and equally punished those that were 
tumultuous, and those that were not; nor did they spare 
them in the least: and since the people were unarmed, and 
were caught by men prepared for what they were about, 
there were a great number of them slain by this means, and 
others of them ran away wounded. And thus an end was put 
to this sedition. 15g 

The two passages satirically confirm the entire premise regard- 
ing Christianity. The Jews would not worship Roman emperors and 
were not swayed by violence; therefore, Rome was forced to 
"become" the Sicarii movement. The satirical description of the 
Romans becoming Sicarii is described above in the phrase: 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 247 

So he habited a great number of his soldiers in their habit, 
who carried daggers under their garments. 

The individuals whose "habit" included "daggers under their 
garments" were, of course, the Sicarii. 

And when they had joined to themselves many of the Sicarii, 
who crowded in among the weaker people (that was the 
name of such robbers as had under their bosoms swords 
called Sicae) 160 

The effect of Christianity is also recorded within the satire. Its 
effect was to end the rebellion. 

And thus an end was put to this sedition. 

When determining the strength of a theory it is useful to con- 
sider how much "explanatory power" it possesses. The following list 
demonstrates just how many "puzzles" this interpretation resolves. 

This interpretation 

• resolves Josephus' perceived confusion over which religion 
was "at Rome" 

• resolves why Paulina, of the cult of Isis, and not Fulvia, the 
Jew, is the one to rent her garments 

• resolves why Josephus recorded that the temple of Isis was 
destroyed, though he was aware that no such destruction had 
occurred 

• resolves why the women in the different stories both have 
husbands named Saturninus who know the emperor 

• resolves why the Decius story and the Fulvia story have the 
same plot 

• resolves why a character has the unusual name "Decius 
Mundus" 

• resolves why a character has the unusual name "Ide" 

• resolves the parallel use in the Testimonium and the Decius 
story of the expression "received with pleasure" 

• resolves the unusual parallels between the wicked Jew in the 
Fulvia story and the Apostle Paul 



248 Caesar's Messiah 

• explains why Decius Mundus did not conceal his resolution to 
kill himself 

• and most importantly, this interpretation explains how the 
two "third-day divinity declarations" in literature happen to 
be placed next to one another. 

There is yet another parallel in the Decius Mundus tale and the 
Testimonium, a parallel only apparent when one reads the passages 
in their original Greek. In the Testimonium, Jesus is described as a 
teacher of people who "accept the truth with pleasure." The Greek 
word for pleasure that Josephus uses is hedone, the root for the Eng- 
lish word "hedonism." Scholars have puzzled over Josephus' use of 
hedone here. Hedone usually denotes sensual or malicious pleasure, 
and "to accept the truth with hedone" is a strange concept. The sen- 
tence that Josephus wrote in Greek could just as well be translated 
"received the truth with malicious pleasure." 

The verb Josephus uses in this phrase is dechomenon, which 
means to receive, the phrase in Greek reading hedonei talethe 
dechomenon. In the Decius Mundus tale, Decius also receives some- 
thing with "sensual pleasure." Decius receives the plot Ide hatches 
to enable him to seduce Paulina with sensual pleasure — hedone, the 
Greek reading dechomenou ten hiketeian hedonei. 

The same verb, dechomenou (meaning "to accept or receive"), is 
used with hedone in the Testimonium. This creates yet another paral- 
lel between the Testimonium and the Decius story. Based on the con- 
text provided by the Decius story, a logical conjecture is that this 
verb/noun combination creates the idiom "getting screwed." I have 
been unable to confirm this conjecture by another example from 
classical Greek, however. 

Hedone is also used in an interesting manner with another word. 
Josephus concludes his Preface to War of the Jews with the following 
statement; 

Tauta panta perilabon en hepta bibliois kai medemian tois 
epistamenois ta pragmata kai paratuchousi toi polemoi 
katalipon e mempseos aphormen e kategorias, tois ge ten 
aletheian agaposin, alia me pros hedonen anegrapsa. Poie- 



The Puzzle of Decius Mundus 249 

somai de tauten tes exegeseos archen, hen kai ton kepha- 
laion epoiesamen. 161 

Whiston's translation into English is as follows: 

I have comprehended all these things in seven books, and 
have left no occasion for complaint or accusation to such as 
have been acquainted with this war; and I have written it 
down for the sake of those that love truth, but not for those 
that please themselves [with fictitious relations]. And I will 
begin my account of these things with what I call my First 
Chapter. 

The reason Whiston places brackets around the phase "please 
themselves [with fictitious relations]" above, was to alert the reader 
that it is an inaccurate translation. The Greek words that Josephus 
uses here, hedonen anegrapsa, do not mean "please themselves with 
fictitious relations" but rather please themselves with registering. 
When used in connection with a person, as it is here, the stem word, 
anagrapho, means to register or record names. Whiston arbitrarily 
inserted the phrase [with fictitious relations] into his translation 
because he believed that this is the idea Josephus actually meant. A 
literal translation of the sentence would read as follows; 

. . . and I have written it down for the sake of those that love 
truth, but not for those that please themselves with regis- 
tering names. 

While Whiston found this translation incoherent, from my per- 
spective it makes complete sense, as the technique used by the 
authors of the New Testament and the works of Josephus to turn 
Judaism into Christianity was the switching, or "unregistering," of 
names. Decius became Anubis and Titus became Jesus. Neither val- 
ued much "this business of names." Josephus' seeming "incoheren- 
cies" are very significant and are meant to be translated exactly as 
they were written. 



CHAPTER 12 



The Father and the Son of God 



All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and 
no one fully knows the Son except the Father, nor does any 
one fully know the Father except the Son and all to whom 
the Son chooses to reveal Him. 

Matt. 1 1 :27 

Jesus' doomsday prophecies were directed against the "wicked gen- 
eration" of Jews who rebelled against Rome. Therefore, his threat- 
ened "second coming" was predicting the 70 C.E. destruction of 
Jerusalem. This was the understanding of most Christian theolo- 
gians until this century and is still the way the Preterit Christians 
understand these prophecies. The 17th-century theologian Reland 
saw the Roman assault on Jerusalem in this way: [The] "Son of God 
came now to take vengeance on the sins of the Jewish nation." His 
contemporary, William Whiston, was even more specific. He under- 
stood that Jesus' words indicated "that he would come at the head 
of the Roman army for their destruction." 162 

I am in complete agreement with Reland and Whiston. All of 
Jesus' ministry was about the coming war with Rome and was 
designed to establish Jesus as Titus' forerunner. Therefore, the rela- 
tionship between Jesus and "the Father" referred to throughout the 
Gospels is a forerunner of the relationship between Titus and his 
father, the emperor and god Vespasian. 

All the dialogues that describe Jesus' relationship with the Father 
use comic wordplay that actually describes Titus' relationship with 
his real father, Vespasian. Supporting this premise is the fact that all 



250 



The Father and the Son of God 25 1 

of Jesus' descriptions of his relationship with his father mention that 
father and son possess secret identities known only to the two of them. 

But the testimony which I have is greater than that of John; 
for the works which the Father has granted me to accom- 
plish, these very works which I am doing, bear me witness 
that the Father has sent me. 

I bear witness to myself, and the Father who sent me 
bears witness to me. 

They said to him therefore, "Where is your Father?" 
Jesus answered, "You know neither me nor my Father; if 
you knew me, you would know my Father also." 

John 8:19 

In Matthew, Jesus also speaks of a secret identity known only to 
him and his father. 

At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, 
Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid 
these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed 
them unto babes. 

Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. 

All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no 
man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any 
man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the 
Son will reveal him. 

Matt. 1 1 :27 

In the Gospel of John, Jesus again discusses his relationship 
with the Father. Again the discussion takes place within the context 
of a concealed identity. In this instance, his questioners are trying to 
determine whether Jesus is claiming to be the Messiah. Christian 
theologians have made numerous efforts to explain Jesus' meaning 
here. My explanation is that it is a revelation that Jesus was a "god" 
and not "God." 

"My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, 
and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. 
I and the Father are one." 



252 Caesar's Messiah 

The Jews took up stones again to stone him. 

Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good 
works from the Father; for which of these do you stone 
me?" 

The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that 
we stone you but for blasphemy; because you, being a man, 
make yourself God." 

Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I 
said, you are gods?' 

If he called them gods to whom the word of God came 
(and scripture cannot be broken), 

Do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and 
sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 
'I am the Son of God?' 

If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not 
believe me; 

But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, 
believe the works, that you may know and understand that 
the Father is in me and I am in the Father." 

John 10:28-38 

If Jesus' dialogue is, as I suggest, a comic way of describing Titus 
and his father, the god Vespasian, then the passage above makes per- 
fect sense. 

It is of interest that Titus is the only person, other than Jesus, 
who is referred to in the New Testament with the phrase "coming 
of." 

But He who comforts the depressed — even God — comforted 
us by the coming of Titus, and not by his coming only . . . 163 

A "Titus" is also described in the Pauline letters as the "true 
child." 

To Titus my own true child in our common faith. 

Titus 1 :4.2 

When Vespasian died in 79 C.E., Titus succeeded him as emperor. 
Among his first orders of business was to have his father deified. It 
was not a routine task — Vespasian was to be the first non-Julio- 



The Father and the Son of God 253 

Claudian emperor to be so honored. But it was important because 
Vespasian's deification would break the chain of divine succession 
held by the Julio-Claudian line since Julius Caesar and thereby help 
secure an imperial future for the Flavian family. 

In order for Vespasian to be made a diuus, the Roman senate had 
to decree it upon him. It was a uniquely Roman custom that only the 
senate could bestow the title of diuus upon him. Over the years, the 
senate had turned down many applicants for the title. Therefore, 
Titus needed to somehow demonstrate to the senate that Vespasian's 
life had been that of a god. During this time, he would also have 
been involved in creating of an empire-wide bureaucracy to admin- 
ister the cult of Vespasian, once it was established. 

In spite of the fact that Vespasian's consecrato would have been 
of great importance to Titus, it did not occur until six months after 
his death. This interval between the death of an emperor and his 
consecrato was an unusually long time. It was during this time 
that the New Testament was created. The length of the interval due 
to the fact that during this period Titus created not one but two reli- 
gions that worshiped his father as a god, as well as the New Testa- 
ment's companion piece, War of the Jews. 

As Jesus' prophecies came to pass during the Jewish war, they 
proved that God had sanctioned the events he foresaw. This is exactly 
what Titus would have been attempting to demonstrate to the Roman 
senate — that the events of his father's life, certainly including his 
conquest of Judea, proved that he was divine and that he deserved 
to be decreed a diuus. Viewed from this perspective, the similarities 
between Christianity and the cult of Vespasian are obvious. 

When Titus arranged to have his father declared a god he "dei- 
fied" the events of Vespasian's life. Thus, all of Jesus' prophecies 
regarding God's coming wrath upon Judea flow without contradic- 
tion into the cult of Vespasian. In fact, the Gospels could have been 
presented to the Roman senate as "proof of the absurd premise that 
Vespasian's life had been that of a god. 

To see this more clearly, simply subtract Judaism and Judea from 
the New Testament. What if Titus, in trying to convince the Roman 
senate that certain events of his father's life proved that he was 
divine, had claimed that a prophet had wandered about Italy in 30 



254 Caesar's Messiah 

C.E. predicting that two Roman gods, a father and a son, would one 
day destroy a "wicked generation" of Jews who rebelled against Rome 
and along with them the temple of Jerusalem? Every member of the 
senate would have understood that the gods this Italian prophet had 
"forseen" were Vespasian and Titus. Of course, no Roman senator 
would have been so gullible as to believe the story. Locating the 
prophet in Judea does not make such prophecies any more plausi- 
ble, but Christianity was not created for a sophisticated audience. 

The histories of Josephus, which prophesied that Vespasian 
would be the world ruler foreseen by Judaism's messianic prophe- 
cies, likewise provided support for Vespasian's deification. The New 
Testament and War of the Jews both make the case that the destruc- 
tion of Judea was an act of a god — the same absurd premise as that 
made by the cult of Vespasian. 

When we align the New Testament with War of the Jews a clear 
picture emerges. Jesus predicted that a "Son of Man" would encircle 
Jerusalem with a wall and destroy its temple and bring tribulation 
onto the "wicked generation" that rebelled against Rome. In fact, one 
man actually had these precise characteristics. A man who was a "son 
of god" and whose followers "fished for men" at Gennesareth. A 
man who encircled Jerusalem with a wall and destroyed the temple 
of Jerusalem. A man who brought the tribulation that Jesus had fore- 
seen unto the "wicked generation" and then ended his "ministry" by 
condemning Simon and sparing John. The man was Titus Flavius. 

Only one man at that point in history had the power to estab- 
lish a religion. At the same time that the first real evidence of Chris- 
tianity emerges, one man is known to have established a religion 
that, like Christianity, held that the destruction of Jerusalem and its 
temple was the work of a god. The man was Titus Flavius. 

Bear in mind that no one had a stronger motivation than Titus 
for finding a cost-effective method of containing militant Judaism, 
which was so expensive for Rome to control. 

Finally, only one family other than Jesus' is associated with the 
origin of Christianity. It is the family of Titus Flavius. Even if one 
discounts the tradition that regards Flavius Clemens as the first 
pope, as well as all the other Flavian traditions connected with 
Christianity's origins, the inscription naming Domitilla Flavian as 



The Father and the Son of Cod 255 

the founder of the oldest burial grounds for Christians in Rome still 
exists today. If one ignores even this, the works of Flavins Josephus 
would be sufficient to confirm the Flavian connection with the ori- 
gins of Christianity. Josephus' works deliberately falsified history to 
provide support for Christian dogma. And whoever or whatever he 
was, Josephus was an adopted Flavian. 

Concerning the question of who knew Judaism well enough to 
create Christianity, this information was in abundant supply, even 
within the small circle of Titus' known confidants. Titus' mistress 
Bernice, though a Herodian, had Maccabean ancestors and claimed 
to have been a Jew. Though the Jews of the messianic movement 
would not have seen her religious perspective as Jewish, she would 
clearly have known much about the Judaism of her day and would 
have been able to contribute to the creation of the Gospels. 

Tiberius Alexander was another individual within Titus' inner- 
most circle who knew of Judaism well enough oversee the produc- 
tion of the New Testament. Tiberius was the nephew of the famous 
Jewish philosopher Philo, and Vespasian held him in such regard 
that he made Tiberius chief of staff to Titus during the siege of 
Jerusalem. 

Though a Jew, Tiberius Alexander was a Roman knight who was 
morally able to order the murder of thousands of his race to main- 
tain the Pax Romana, the Roman peace. When the Jews of Alexan- 
dria "made a disturbance," Tiberius ordered the Roman troops not 
only to kill the rioters but to plunder and burn their ghetto as well. 
Josephus records that "fifty thousand corpses piled up." Tiberius, in 
his role as chief of staff to Titus during the siege of Jerusalem and 
the subsequent slaughter and enslavement of the Jews there, showed 
a slavish obedience to Rome. It would have been necessary for some- 
one of Jewish descent who created a religion that was used to oppress 
his own people. His religious perspective was Romanized to such an 
extent that he was not even monotheistic. He often used the word 
"gods." Josephus, who, it should be remembered, also claimed to be 
a Jew, recorded Tiberius' close relationship to the Flavians. 

... as also there came Tiberius Alexander, who was a friend 
of his, most valuable, both for his good-will to him, and for 



256 Caesar's Messiah 

his prudence. He had formerly been governor of Alexandria, 
but was now thought worthy to be general of the army [under 
Titus]. The reason of this was, that he had been the first who 
encouraged Vespasian very lately to accept this his new 
dominion, and joined himself to him with great fidelity, when 
things were uncertain, and fortune had not yet declared for 
him. He also followed Titus as a counselor, very useful to 
him in this war, both by his age and skill in such affairs. 165 

To such individuals who were completely in thrall to the Flavians 
and who saw militant messianic Judaism as a threat to their financial 
interests, providing the information to construct a version of Judaism 
that was in alignment with Rome would have been automatic. 

One of the primary causes for the war between the Romans and 
the Jews was the Jews' refusal to worship the Roman emperors as 
gods. Though the rest of the empire did, the Jews would not call 
Caesar "Lord." As I have pointed out, the cruelest joke of Christian- 
ity is that by replacing the Jewish God and son of God with Roman 
emperors, it tricked Jews into calling Caesar "Lord" without know- 
ing it. Chrisitanity stole the identities of the God of Judaism and his 
messiah Son, as well as those of John and Simon, the leaders of the 
messianic rebellion. Their identities were given to Vespasian and Titus 
and to the "Christian Apostles" John and Simon. These disguised 
characters were combined with other symbols of Roman conquest, 
the cross of the crucifixion and the "flesh of the Messiah," to create 
a religion that both absorbed and ridiculed the messianic movement. 

This was the ultimate triumph of the imperial family. This darkly 
comic concept of switched identities is in play to such an extent that 
the New Testament and the works of Josephus together are a puzzle 
whose solution produces the true identities of their characters. Why 
was it necessary to create this vast literary puzzle? Because it was the 
only method by which Titus could both create a religion that solved 
the problem of the Jews' refusal to accept the Roman emperor as a 
god and also make it known to posterity that he was the one who 
did it. 

But what was most of all astonishing to the beholders was 
the courage of the children; for not one of these children 
was so far overcome by these torments, as to name Caesar 



The Father and the Son of God 257 

for their Lord. So far does the strength of the courage [of the 
soul] prevail over the weakness of the body. 166 

The authors of Christianity intended that their puzzles would 
eventually be solved and Titus' complete triumph be thereby revealed, 
a sorry task that has fallen to this author. 

I suspect that Christianity, as the comic version of the imperial 
cult, was first inserted into the areas surrounding Judea to serve as 
a theological barrier to the spread of militaristic Judaism. Evidently 
succeeding beyond its creators' original intent, it was eventually 
decreed the state religion. The religion thus became a prophylactic for 
all the potentially rebellious slave populations throughout the empire. 

To make the cult as efficient as possible in promoting their 
interests, its inventors had their parodic Messiah advocate both paci- 
fism and stoicism, whereby Christians would learn to subdue their 
rebelliousness and find holiness in subservience. This combination 
of Christian theology and Roman imperial might was so effective 
that it kept European civilization frozen in place for over 1000 years, 
throughout the Dark Ages. 

A Roman bureaucracy called the Commune Aside, an organiza- 
tion that administered the imperial cult in Asia, would probably 
have overseen the original implementation of Christianity. Notably, 
all the seven "churches of Asia" mentioned in Revelation 1:11 were 
known to have agencies of the Commune located within them. Five 
of these seven cities were sites of the imperial cult's festival, which 
was held once every five years. In these cities it would have been 
possible to oversee two versions of the imperial cult, one for Roman 
citizens and the other for the "slaves and scum" seen as susceptible 
to the lure of the Messiah. 

The puzzle of Decius Mundus described earlier indicates that 
"wicked priests" accepted money to build congregations for the new 
Judaism. Following the destruction of the temple, some of the 18,000 
priests who had previously worked there were, presumably, still alive 
and would have needed to seek new employment. The first Christ- 
ian priests may have been hired from the remnants of the enormous 
group that had once ministered to the now destroyed temple. 

However these facts may be, the Roman version of Judaism was 
introduced to the masses by some group of "wicked priests" who 



258 Caesar's Messiah 

had been employed by the Flavians to preach the "Gospels" — a word 
that technically means "good news of military victory." The first 
people to hear the story of Jesus would most likely have been slaves, 
whose patrons simply ordered them to attend services. After a while 
some began to believe, then many. 



CHAPTER 13 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 



Thus far, I have shown the reader the parallels, allegories, and puz- 
zles that lie within the New Testament and the works of Josephus to 
indicate that the Flavian family created Christianity. However, the 
reader can take another route to this understanding, using only the 
literal meanings of the words in these works. 

As I have stated, the works of Josephus provided support for the 
religious doctrine of Christianity. Early Christian writers held that 
the parallels between Jesus' prophecies and Josephus' histories prove 
that Jesus could see into the future. Moreover, in addition to simply 
recording that Jesus' prophecies had come to pass, Josephus falsified 
the dates of the events that he describes in War of the Jews. He does 
this so that the sequence of events appear to "prove" that Daniel's 
prophecies came to pass within the first century C.E. and that Jesus 
is the son of God that Daniel envisioned. 

The following passage from St. Augustine exemplifies the early 
church fathers' belief that the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem 
simultaneously fulfilled the prophecies of both Daniel and Jesus. 

Luke, to show that the abomination spoken of by Daniel will 
take place when Jerusalem is captured, recalls these 
words of the Lord in the same context: When you shall see 
Jerusalem compassed about with an army, then know that 
the desolation thereof is at hand. For Luke very clearly 
bears witness that the prophecy of Daniel was fulfilled 
when Jerusalem was overthrown. 167 

It is not well known today that Josephus falsified the dates of 
the events in War of the Jews so that work would be seen as the ful- 

259 



260 Caesar's Messiah 

fillment of Daniel's prophecies; this is remarkable because he con- 
stantly reminds his readers that he is doing just that. 

. . . And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered 
these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to 
Daniel's vision, and what he wrote many years before they 
came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote 
concerning the Roman government, and that our country 
should be made desolate by them. All these things did this 
man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him ... 168 

The passage above could not state the proposition any more 
clearly. Josephus is claiming that the events he describes in his 
works are part of the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecies. He shares 
this understanding of the events with Jesus, who also believed that 
Daniel's prophecies foresaw the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem. 

Daniel's prophecies foresaw events that spanned five centuries. 
They predicted that toward the end of this time period a Messiah, 
who would be a son of God, would appear and then be "cut off." 
This cutting off of the Messiah is then followed by the destruction 
of Jerusalem. Therefore, to demonstrate that the war between the 
Romans and the Jews is the one that Daniel envisioned, Josephus 
begins to align his history with Daniel's prophecies many years 
before the events of the first century C.E. Josephus begins War of the 
Jews with a passage that describes Antiochus Epiphanes' assault on 
Jerusalem, which occurred approximately 200 years before the birth 
of Christ. Josephus clearly indicates that the assault was an event on 
Daniel's prophetic continuum — specifically, the desolation Daniel 
predicts in Daniel 7:13-8:12. He does this by using a phrase found 
only in the Book of Daniel, the "ending of the daily sacrifice," and 
by documenting the amount of time during which the daily sacrifice 
was halted, "three years and six months." By using these phrases, 
Josephus is flatly stating that Daniel's prophecies are coming to pass. 
This position cannot be disputed because Josephus himself writes 
the passage above that "our nation suffered these things under Anti- 
ochus Epiphanes, according to Daniel's vision." 

While the following passage may seem innocuous, it is in fact 
Josephus' "proof that Daniel's prophetic continuum was occurring, 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 261 

and that therefore, the first century C.E. would see both a Messiah 
who would be "cut off and the destruction of Jerusalem. Notice 
Josephus' use of Daniel's phrase "three years and six months." 

At the same time that Antiochus, who was called Epiphanes, 
had a quarrel with the sixth Ptolemy about his right to the 
whole country of Syria, a great sedition fell among the men 
of power in Judea, and they had a contention about obtain- 
ing the government; while each of those that were of dignity 
could not endure to be subject to their equals. However, 
Onias, one of the high priests, got the better, and cast the 
sons of Tobias out of the city; who fled to Antiochus, and 
besought him to make use of them for his leaders, and to 
make an expedition into Judea. The king being thereto dis- 
posed beforehand, complied with them, and came upon the 
Jews with a great army, and took their city by force, and 
slew a great multitude of those that favored Ptolemy, and 
sent out his soldiers to plunder them without mercy. He also 
spoiled the temple, and put a stop to the constant practice 
of offering a daily sacrifice of expiation for three years and 
six months. 169 

By beginning his work with this description, Josephus is, in effect, 
stating that all the events in Daniel's prophetic continuum will come 
to pass within the era that his histories cover. This is because once one 
links an event to a point on Daniel's continuum there can be no stop- 
ping until all the prophecies in his continuum have been fulfilled. 

The cutting off of the Messiah that Daniel predicted is one of 
these events. Therefore, even though Jesus is not mentioned in War 
of the Jews, Josephus was aware that if the destruction of Jerusalem 
that Daniel prophecies comes to pass in 70 C.E., the Messiah that 
Daniel predicted would have lived and been "cut off earlier in the 
first century. Josephus is, in effect, providing support for the claim 
that Jesus existed, and was the Messiah that Daniel prophesied with 
the very first sentence of his work. 

After establishing the continuum of Daniel's prophecies with 
Antiochus Epiphanes' assault on Jerusalem, Josephus then records 
that the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem brings Daniel's prophecies 



262 Caesar's Messiah 

to a close. He does this by "documenting," once again, that the time 
sequences between the related events during the war match the con- 
clusion Daniel envisioned, and by using terms found only in the 
Book of Daniel. 

The reader will notice that in none of the examples I present does 
Josephus try to portray certain events as occurring at precise dates. 
There was no system in the first century to precisely determine dates 
to which Daniel's prophecies could be aligned. In any case, Daniel's 
prophecies are so vague as to defy temporal specificity. The only cer- 
tainties regarding them is that he uses the word "week" to refer to a 
seven-year, not a seven-day period and that his visions encompass a 
490-year span. 

Josephus guides his readers to reach his intended conclusions 
by using words and phrases such as "desolation" and "ending of the 
daily sacrifice," which he expects the reader to be familiar with from 
Daniel, and, more concretely, by simply stating that Daniel's prophe- 
cies were coming to pass. Moreover, Josephus also dates events 
within his history in precise time spans relative to one another, creat- 
ing the impression that they were part of Daniel's prophecies. 

Josephus recorded that the related events were either three and 
a half years (half a week) or seven years (a week) apart. The length 
of the war was seven years and the "ending of the daily sacrifice" 
was three and a half years from its beginning. 

Bear in mind that Josephus was not merely inventing a religion; 
he was also inventing a time sequence within which the religion is 
contained. None of the first-century chronology we orient ourselves 
by today existed until the author(s) of the works of Josephus created 
it. Because he was literally creating both history and time, Josephus 
was free to place events in relation to one another any way he chose. 
His recording of the perfect alignment of events in the time sequences 
Daniel predicted is either his witnessing of supernatural phenomena 
or a deliberate falsification. 

Currently there is contention among scholars regarding virtu- 
ally of the chronology Josephus gives in War of the Jews. 170 For 
example, Josephus gives a later date than Suetonius 171 and Dio for 
when Vespasian began to prepare for the civil war in Rome that led 
to his becoming emperor. It is probable that Josephus did this to 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 263 

provide support for the Flavian claim that Vespasian was not anxi- 
ious to become Emperor. This "shaping" of time by Josephus to cre- 
ate Flavian propaganda is exactly the same technique he used to cre- 
ate the alignment between the Flavian campaign in Judea and the 
prophecies of Daniel. 

While it is not necessary that the reader be completely knowl- 
edgeable about Daniel's arcane prophecies and dating system to 
understand this analysis, some information is useful. 

Daniel envisioned a series of tribulations for the Jews during 
which various disasters would befall them. Inside this time period, 
he foresaw that a Messiah, who he referred to as the son of God, 
would be "cut off." The period would last 490 years, the "seven 
times seventy weeks" foreseen by Daniel. Several half weeks, three- 
and-a-half-year periods, would occur within specific weeks. 

Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon 
thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end 
of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring 
in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and 
prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 172 

When Josephus aligns events of the first century with the 
prophecies of Daniel, he is creating a historical context that includes 
the son of God, the Messiah. No other interpretation is possible. 

Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth 
of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem 
unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and 
threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, 
and the wall, even in troublous times. 173 

And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be 
cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the Prince that 
shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the 
end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the 
war desolations are determined. 174 

Daniel foresees a war that will last a week (seven years). At the 
mid-point of this week (three and a half years after its beginning) 
the "daily sacrifice" will cease and the "abomination of desolation," 
also foreseen by Jesus, will occur. 



264 Caesar's Messiah 

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: 
and in the midst of the week (three and a half years) he 
shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for 
the overspreading of abominations he shall make it deso- 
late, even until the consummation, and that determined 
shall be poured upon the desolate. 175 

Understanding this much, the reader should appreciate that the- 
following passage from War of the Jews is, without question, meant 
to be understood as demonstrating the alignment between Daniel's 
prophecies and the history Josephus is describing. The "failure of 
the daily sacrifice," three and a half years from the beginning of the 
war, is too unique and precise a concept to permit any other inter- 
pretation. Further, this passage must be describing the "abomination 
of desolation" Jesus prophesied in the New Testament, a point I shall 
go into in depth. 

The passage is the most important in the works of Josephus for 
revealing the dating technique he was attempting to create. I have 
included the entire passage because it contains many points central 
to my theory. The passage begins with Titus bringing Josephus to the 
walls of Jerusalem to inform the Jewish rebels in their own language 
of Titus' concern over ending of the "daily sacrifice" to God. The 
passage makes it completely clear that Josephus understands that 
Daniel's prophecies are being fulfilled. Note that Josephus is not 
reporting second- or third-hand descriptions, which might merely 
suggest this. Josephus is quoting himself. 

AND now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with 
him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and 
make him a ready passage for his army to come up; while 
he himself had Josephus brought to him, (for he had been 
informed that on that very day, which was the seventeenth 
day of Panemus [Tammuz], the sacrifice called "the Daily 
Sacrifice" had failed, and had not been offered to God, for 
want of men to offer it, and that the people were grievously 
troubled at it,) and commanded him to say the same things 
to John that he had said before, that if he had any malicious 
inclination for fighting, he might come out with as many of 
his men as he pleased, in order to fight, without the danger 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 

of destroying either his city or temple; but that he desired 
he would not defile the temple, nor thereby offend against 
God. That he might, if he pleased, offer the sacrifices which 
were now discontinued of the Jews whom he should pitch 
upon. Upon this Josephus stood in such a place where he 
might be heard, not by John only, but by many more, and 
then declared to them what Caesar had given him in 
charge, and this in the Hebrew language. So he earnestly 
prayed them to spare their own city, and to prevent that fire 
which was just ready to seize upon the temple, and to offer 
their usual sacrifices to God therein. At these words of his 
a great sadness and silence were observed among the peo- 
ple. But the tyrant himself cast many reproaches upon 
Josephus, with imprecations besides; and at last added this 
withal, that he did never fear the taking of the city, because 
it was God's own city. In answer to which Josephus said 
thus with a loud voice: "To be sure thou hast kept this city 
wonderfully pure for God's sake; the temple also continues 
entirely unpolluted! Nor hast thou been guilty of all impiety 
against him for whose assistance thou hopest! He still 
receives his accustomed sacrifices! Vile wretch that thou 
art! if any one shouLd deprive thee of thy daily food, thou 
wouldst esteem him to be an enemy to thee; but thou 
hopest to have that God for thy supporter in this whom 
thou hast deprived of his everlasting worship; and thou 
imputest those sins to the Romans, who to this very time 
take care to have our laws observed, and almost compel 
these sacrifices to be still offered to God, which have by thy 
means been intermitted! Who is there that can avoid groans 
and lamentations at the amazing change that is made in 
this city? since very foreigners and enemies do now correct 
that impiety which thou hast occasioned; while thou, who 
art a Jew, and wast educated in our laws, art become a 
greater enemy to them than the others. 176 

Josephus is attempting at this point in the passage to twist 
Judaism against itself. He tries to convince "John," the rebel leader, 
in a manner reminiscent of Jesus, of the wisdom of "repentantce." To 
do this he points out that Jechoniah, a former king of the Jews, sur- 



266 Caesar's Messiah 

rendered to the Babylonians rather than risk having the temple 
destroyed, an act for which Jews will forever revere him. Notice also 
that Josephus is speaking directly to John, the rebel leader, who was 
the basis for the New Testament character, the Apostle John. 

Josephus, in effect, is using the Jews' own religious convictions 
to bring them to surrender, or, as Jesus would say, "to turn the other 
cheek." 

But still, John, it is never dishonorable to repent, and 
amend what hath been done amiss, even at the last 
extremity. Thou hast an instance before thee in Jechoniah, 
the king of the Jews, if thou hast a mind to save the city, 
who, when the king of Babylon made war against him, did 
of his own accord go out of this city before it was taken, and 
did undergo a voluntary captivity with his family, that the 
sanctuary might not be delivered up to the enemy, and that 
he might not see the house of God set on fire; on which 
account he is celebrated among all the Jews, in their 
sacred memorials, and his memory is become immortal, 
and will be conveyed fresh down to our posterity through all 
ages. This, John, is an excellent example in such a time of 
danger, and I dare venture to promise that the Romans 
shall still forgive thee. And take notice that I, who make this 
exhortation to thee, am one of thine own nation; I, who am 
a Jew, do make this promise to thee. And it will become 
thee to consider who I am that give thee this counsel, and 
whence I am derived; for while I am alive I shall never be in 
such slavery, as to forego my own kindred, or forget the 
laws of our forefathers. Thou hast indignation at me again, 
and makest a clamor at me, and reproachest me; indeed I 
cannot deny but I am worthy of worse treatment than all 
this amounts to, because, in opposition to fate, I make this 
kind invitation to thee, and endeavor to force deliverance 
upon those whom God hath condemned. And who is there 
that does not know what the writings of the ancient 
prophets contain in them — and particularly that oracle 
which is just now going to be fulfilled upon this miserable 
city? For they foretold that this city should be then taken 
when somebody shall begin the slaughter of his own coun- 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 267 

trymen. And are not both the city and the entire temple now 
full of the dead bodies of your countrymen? It is God, there- 
fore, it is God himself who is bringing on this fire, to purge 
that city and temple by means of the Romans, and is going 
to pluck up this city, which is full of your pollutions. 

Returning to my analysis of Josephus' use of the Book of Daniel, 
I have included Whiston's two footnotes to the passage above. 

As the footnotes show, Whiston understood the relationship 
between Daniel's prophecies and Josephus' dating of the events of 
the Jewish war. A devout Christian, he accepted that Josephus was 
faithfully recording supernatural occurrences. 

In the first footnote below, Whiston recognizes that the siege of 
Jerusalem began exactly "three years and a half after Vespasian began 
the war. This time span shows that Daniel's prophecy, "in the midst 
of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease," 
had come to pass. This was either, as Whiston believed, an example 
of Josephus' witnessing of the supernatural or, as I prefer, an exam- 
ple of his deliberate falsification of history to create the impression 
that Daniel had envisioned the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem. 

This was a remarkable day indeed, the seventeenth of 
Paneruns [Tammuz], A.D. 70, when, according to Daniel's 
prediction, six hundred and six years before, the Romans 
"in half a week caused the sacrifice and oblation to cease," 
Daniel 9:27. For from the month of February, A.D. 66, about 
which time Vespasian entered on this war, to this very time, 
was just three years and a half. 

Whiston's second footnote is even more remarkable. In it Whis- 
ton comes to show the exact conclusion that Josephus intended. 
Since Whiston could not consider the possibility of a nonsupernat- 
ural explanation for what he read in Josephus, he concludes that 
God was aligned with the Romans, that the Jews were wicked, and 
that Jesus and Daniel shared the same prophetic vision. 

Of this oracle . . . Josephus, both here and in many places 
elsewhere, speaks so, that it is most evident he was fully 
satisfied that God was on the Romans' side, and made use 
of them now for the destruction of that wicked nation of the 



268 Caesar's Messiah 

Jews; which was for certain the true state of this matter, as 
the prophet Daniel first, and our Savior himself afterwards, 
had clearly foretold. 

If we accept what Josephus has recorded above as true, then the 
prophet foreseen by Daniel can only have been Jesus. Likewise, Jesus' 
"doomsday" prophecies must have foreseen the 70 C.E. destruction 
of Jerusalem, because it is the only destruction of Jerusalem that 
Daniel's prophet could have envisioned had he lived in the first cen- 
tury. Further cinching this knot of logic is the fact that it would it 
have been impossible for Josephus to record this perfect manifesta- 
tion of Daniel's visions had it not, in fact, come to pass in the war 
with the Jews. 

Josephus recorded history to demonstrate that Daniel's prophe- 
cies came to pass in 70 C.E. Josephus goes overboard to make cer- 
tain that his readers come to this conclusion. This was one of the 
primary reasons the first Christians believed in Jesus' divinity. Some- 
how this knowledge has been lost and is no longer understood 
today, even by New Testament scholars. 

Scholars have debated whether the Testimonium was written by 
Josephus or added by later Christian redactors. Previously, I pre- 
sented an analysis of the Testimonium that demonstrates that it is not 
separate from the two tales that follow it. However, for Josephus to 
remain consistent in his placing of first-century events in the con- 
text of Daniel's prophecies, he would have to place a "Messiah" at 
the point in history that these prophecies called for. Because Jose- 
phus claims that the "end of the daily sacrifice" foreseen by Daniel's 
prophecies came to pass during the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem 
by the Romans, one needs only to work backward from 70 C.E. to 
determine if the positioning of the "Christ" in Antiquities is consis- 
tent with this date. This is exactly what early Christian scholars did, 
using the relevant dates in Josephus and the New Testament to 
demonstrate that Jesus had fulfilled the prophecies of Daniel. The 
following example by the Tertullian, written circa 200 C.E., repre- 
sents a complete victory for Josephus. Tertullian has completely 
adopted Josephus' perspective and arranged history to show that 
Daniel foresaw Jesus and the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem. 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 269 

Let us see, therefore, how the years are filled up until the 
advent of the Christ: — 

For Darius reigned . . . viiii years (9). 

Artaxerxes reigned . . . xl and I years (41). 

Then King Ochus (who is also 

called Cyrus) reigned . . . xxiiii years (24). 

Argus . . . one year. 

Another Darius, who is also named Melas . . . xxi years 
(21). 

Alexander the Macedonian, xii years (12). 

Then, after Alexander, who had reigned over both 
Medes and Persians, whom he had reconquered, and had 
established his kingdom firmly in Alexandria, when withal 
he called that (city) by his own name; (10) after him reigned, 
(there, in Alexandria) 

Soter. . . xxxv years (35). 

To whom succeeds 

Philadelphus, reigning xxx and viii years (38). 

To him succeeds Euergetes, xxv years (25). 

Then Philopator . . . xvii years (17). 

After him Epiphanes . . . xxiiii years (24). 

Then another Euergetes . . . xxviiii years (29). 

Then another Soter. . . .xxxviii years (38). 

Ptolemy . . . xxxvii years (37). 

Cleopatra . . . xx years v months (20 5/12). 

Yet again Cleopatra reigned jointly with Augustus ... xiii 
years (13.) 

After Cleopatra, Augustus reigned other . . . xliii years 
(43). 

For all the years of the empire of Augustus were Ivi 
years (56). 

Let us see, moreover, how in the forty-first year of the 
empire of Augustus, when he has been reigning for xx and 
viii years after the death of Cleopatra, the Christ is born. 
(And the same Augustus survived, after Christ is born, xv 
years; and the remaining times of years to the day of the 
birth of Christ will bring us to the xl first year, which is the 



270 Caesar's Messiah 

xx and viiith of Augustus after the death of Cleopatra. There 
are (then) made up cccxxx and vii years, v months: (whence 
are filled up Ixii hebdomads and an half: which make up 
ccccxxxvii years, vi months:) on the day of the birth of 
Christ. And (then) "righteousness eternal" was manifested, 
and "an Holy One of holy ones was anointed" — that is, 
Christ — and "sealed was vision and prophet," and "sins" 
were remitted, which, through faith in the name of Christ, 
are washed away (1) for all who believe on Him. But what 
does he mean by saying that "vision and prophecy are 
sealed?" That all prophets ever announced of Him that He 
was to come and had to suffer. Therefore, since the 
prophecy was fulfilled through His advent, for that reason 
he said that "vision and prophecy were sealed;" inasmuch 
as He is the signet of all prophets, fulfilling all things which 
in days bygone they had announced of Him. (2) For after the 
advent of Christ and His passion there is no longer "vision 
or prophet" to announce Him as to come. In short, if this is 
not so, let the Jews exhibit, subsequently to Christ, any vol- 
umes of prophets, visible miracles wrought by any angels, 
(such as those) which in bygone days the patriarchs saw 
until the advent of Christ, who is now come; since which 
event "sealed is vision and prophecy," that is, confirmed. 
And justly does the evangelist (3) write, "The law and the 
prophets (were) until John" the Baptist. For, on Christ's being 
baptized, that is, on His sanctifying the waters in His own 
baptism, (4) all the plenitude of bygone spiritual grace-gifts 
ceased in Christ, sealing as He did all vision and prophecies, 
which by His advent He fulfilled. Whence most firmly does 
he assert that His advent "seals visions and prophecy." 

Accordingly, showing, (as we have done) both the num- 
ber of the years, and the time of the Ix two and an half ful- 
filled hebdomads, on completion of which, (we have shown) 
that Christ is come, that is, has been born, let us see what 
(mean) other "vii and an half hebdomads," which have been 
subdivided in the abscision of (5) the former hebdomads; 
(let us see, namely,) in what event they have been ful- 
filled:- 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 271 

For, after Augustus who survived after the birth of 
Christ, are made up . . . xv years 

To whom succeeded Tiberius Caesar, and held the 
empire . . . xx years, vii months, xxviii days (20 etc.). 

(In the fiftieth year of his empire Christ suffered, being 
about xxx years of age when he suffered.) 

Again Caius Caesar, also called Caligula . . . iii years, 
viii months, xiii days (3 etc.). 

Nero Caesar, . . xi years, ix months, xiii days (11 etc.). 

Galba ... vii months, vi days. (7 etc.). 

Otho ... iii days. 

Vitellius . . . viii mos., xxvii days (8 mos.). 

Vespasian, in the first year of his empire, subdues the 
Jews in war; and there are made Iii years, vi months. For he 
reigned xi years. And thus, in the day of their storming, the 
Jews fulfilled the Ixx hebdomads predicted in Daniel. 

While the above chronology is difficult to comprehend and his- 
torically implausible, it is only necessary to be aware that Tertullian 
and all early church fathers believed that Daniel's prophecies had come 
to pass in 70 C.E. This belief came from their reading the sole his- 
torian of the era, Josephus, in conjunction with the New Testament. 

Another, less tortured, explanation of Daniel's connection to 
Christianity was given by Sulpcius Severus (353-429 C.E.) in his 
book Sacred History (403 C.E.): 

But from the restoration of the temple to its destruction, 
which was completed by Titus under Vespasian, when 
Augustus was consul, there was a period of four hundred 
and eighty-three years. That was formerly predicted by 
Daniel, who announced that from the restoration of the 
temple to its overthrow there would elapse seventy and 
nine weeks. Now, from the date of the captivity of the Jews 
until the time of the restoration of the city, there were two 
hundred and sixty years. 

The War of the Jews, therefore, is entirely structured, from its 
first paragraph to its last, to document that Daniel's prophecies had 
come to pass within the first century. This indicates that Josephus 



272 Caesar's Messiah 

was aware that the "son of God" foreseen by Daniel had appeared 
earlier in the century and been "cut off." Once Josephus had begun 
the alignment between his history and Daniel's prophecies, there 
could be no stopping until Jerusalem was destroyed. 

Thus, Josephus was not mildly conscious of some unimportant 
religious mystic wandering about the Galilean countryside. Jose- 
phus was keenly aware that his work demonstrated that Daniel's 
prophecies had come to pass and that Jesus was the Messiah the 
prophecies had envisioned. Since this was obviously the case, why 
then did Josephus take so little notice of Jesus? 

It made the forgery less obvious. 

If one wishes to "create" a prophet, it is easy enough — simply 
invent one who existed in the past. Then fabricate a work in his 
name dated from the time that you claim he lived. In the book, 
describe the prophet predicting events that you know have already 
occurred. Inventing the prophet and his predictions is not the hard 
part. The hard part is not having the forgery discovered. In order for 
the New Testament/Josephus fabrication to be believable, the two 
works had to be seen as independent of one another. Therefore, 
Josephus focused on the events that Daniel had predicted and not on 
the "son of God" himself. 

Josephus' successful effort in overlaying Daniel on events in the 
first century, in a way, provides support for my theory. It does so by 
being such an obvious ruse. The "wickedness" of the Jews of the first 
century was their refusal to compromise Judaism and submit to 
Rome; they did exactly what the religion of Moses and Daniel 
required. Josephus' use of the prophecies of Daniel to substantiate 
the events of the first century was, clearly, an effort to manipulate 
Judaism into alignment with Roman interests — exactly as was the 
case with the creation of Christianity. 

If the Romans were the creators of Christianity and the works of 
Josephus, why did they portray their fictitious Messiah as the one 
foreseen by Daniel? Among the Dead Sea Scrolls are many relating 
to the Book of Daniel. They show that at least some of the Jews of 
that era were using the dating system within the Book of Daniel to 
try to determine when the Messiah would appear to lead them in 
their holy war against Rome. 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 273 

The Romans understood that the messianic Jewish rebels inter- 
preted passages from Daniel and other of their prophets in a way 
that justified their own militaristic theology. Among the Dead Sea 
Scrolls were found numerous examples of this type of interpretation. 
Roman intellectuals, no doubt, analyzed these works and realized 
that it was just as possible to interpret the passages in order to cre- 
ate an entirely different, pro-Roman theology. Rome's solution to 
these militaristic anti-Roman interpretations of the Book of Daniel 
was to create a literature that interpreted Daniel's prophecies in a 
way acceptable to Rome — the New Testament and War of the Jews. 

I will now analyze in depth the link between Jesus' statement 
concerning the "abomination of desolation" and Josephus' passage 
describing the end of the "daily sacrifice." 

Early Christian scholars were aware of the three-way link 
between Jesus' statements in Matthew 24, the Book of Daniel, and 
War of the Jews. St. Augustine, for example, understood that Jesus 
had claimed that Daniel's prophecies "came to pass" within the first 
century. In the passage below, notice that Augustine is clear about 
what period Jesus' prophecies referred to — the 70 C.E. destruction 
of Jerusalem. 

Luke recalls these words of the Lord in the same context: 
When you shall see Jerusalem compassed about with an 
army, then know that the desolation thereof is at hand. For 
Luke very clearly bears witness that the prophecy of Daniel 
was fulfilled when Jerusalem was overthrown. 

Eusebius shared this understanding. In the following passage, 
notice that he actually points out that the works of Josephus are the 
basis for his belief. 

— all these things, as well as the many great sieges which 
were carried on against the cities of Judea, and the exces- 
sive sufferings endured by those that fled to Jerusalem 
itself, as to a city of perfect safety, and finally the general 
course of the whole war, as well as its particular occur- 
rences in detail, and how at last the abomination of desola- 
tion, proclaimed by the prophets, stood in the very temple 
of God, so celebrated of old, the temple which was now 



274 Caesar's Messiah 

awaiting its total and final destruction by fire, — all these 
things any one that wishes may find accurately described in 
the history written by Josephus. 177 

Matthew 24:15 is interesting because it is only there that Jesus 
explicitly shares a vision of the future with another prophet; it is also 
the only place in the New Testament where the reader is directly 
addressed. 

Therefore when you see the "abomination of desolation" 
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the Holy Place 
(whoever reads let him understand) 178 

In the passage from the Book of Daniel that Jesus is referring to, 
the "abomination of desolation" is to begin with the end of the 
"daily sacrifice." Notice that the time span Daniel describes is three 
and a half years. 

And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and 
the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be a 
thousand two hundred and ninety days. 179 

When Jesus' statement above is read with the passage from War 
of the Jews that describes the end of the daily sacrifice, they provide 
an example, par excellence, of the prophetic linkage between War of 
the Jews and the New Testament. 

Note that Josephus does not use the same expression from the 
Book of Daniel that Jesus uses above, the "abomination of desola- 
tion," but rather used Daniel's other expression, the "daily sacri- 
fice" — leaving it to the reader to "understand" that one must lead to 
the other. I believe that the use of different but complementary 
terms from Daniel in the New Testament and the passage from Jose- 
phus was intentional — a "slight of hand" aimed at convincing early 
Christians that the New Testament and War of the Jews were written 
independently of one another. 

AND now Titus gave orders to his soldiers that were with 
him to dig up the foundations of the tower of Antonia, and 
make him a ready passage for his army to come up; while 
he himself had Josephus brought to him, [for he had been 



Josephus' Use of the Book of Daniel 275 

informed that on that very day, which was the seventeenth 
day of Panemus [Tammuz], the sacrifice called "The Daily 
Sacrifice" had failed, and had not been offered to God, for 
want of men to offer it . . . 180 

In the Section from Jewish Antiquities below, Josephus again 
states his understanding that the destruction of Jerusalem was the 
fulfillment of Daniel's prophesies. I have included Josephus' self- 
serving argument that fulfilled prophecies prove the existence of 
God. This argument is interesting historically in that it may reveal 
the reasoning that Christian "missionaries" would have used with 
first-century slaves and peasants. In other words, the fulfillment of 
prophecies, which, of course, the combination of the New Testament 
and the works of Josephus represented, not only "proved" that God 
existed but that his providence was with the Romans. It also sug- 
gests the era's obsession with prophecy, showing why it was made 
such an important part of Jesus' ministry. 

And indeed it so came to pass, that our nation suffered 
these things under Antiochus Epiphanes, according to 
Daniel's vision, and what he wrote many years before they 
came to pass. In the very same manner Daniel also wrote 
concerning the Roman government, and that our country 
should be made desolate by them. All these things did this 
man leave in writing, as God had showed them to him, inso- 
much that such as read his prophecies, and see how they 
have been fulfilled, would wonder at the honor wherewith 
God honored Daniel; and may thence discover how the Epi- 
cureans are in an error, who cast Providence out of human 
life, and do not believe that God takes care of the affairs of 
the world, nor that the universe is governed and continued 
in being by that blessed and immortal nature, but say that 
the world is carried along of its own accord, without a ruler 
and a curator; which, were it destitute of a guide to conduct 
it, as they imagine, it would be like ships without pilots, 
which we see drowned by the winds, or like chariots with- 
out drivers, which are overturned; so would the world be 
dashed to pieces by its being carried without a Providence, 
and so perish, and come to naught. So that, by the afore- 



276 Caesar's Messiah 

mentioned predictions of Daniel, those men seem to me 
very much to err from the truth, who determine that God 
exercises no providence over human affairs; for if that were 
the case, that the world went on by mechanical necessity, 
we should not see that all things would come to pass 
according to his prophecy. 181 

Josephus' argument above, that Daniel's prophecies give evi- 
dence to the idea that "these men err . . . who determine that God 
exercises no providence over human affairs," is the one that I sus- 
pect was used with the original converts of Christianity. In other 
words, since War of the Jews reveals that Jesus' prophecies have 
"come to pass," it demonstrates Jesus' divinity. This "proof of Jesus' 
divinity would have made it impossible to deny the New Testament's 
and Josephus' other claims — that the Jews are wicked, that slaves 
should obey, etc. Who can argue with what the fulfillment of 
prophecy has proven to be the "word of God"? 

Further, when the New Testament has Jesus predict the "abom- 
ination of desolation," how could the reader "understand" what he 
was referring to? Nothing in the New Testament enables its readers 
to know that the complex prophecy sequence that Daniel used to 
predict the "Abomination of Desolation," would "come to pass" dur- 
ing the Roman destruction of Jerusalem. Only one book has given 
the information the reader needs to arrive at this interpretation: War 
of the Jews. Therefore, the "reader" that Jesus referred to must also 
have been aware that Josephus recorded the fulfillment of Daniel's 
prophecies as occurring in the first century Without Josephus, 
Christ's words are meaningless. 

Notice that Jesus is providing support for Josephus' contention 
that Daniel's prophecies were coming to pass. The logic runs in 
reverse. Jesus' use of Daniel's vocabulary identified him as Daniel's 
Messiah. If Jesus was Daniel's Messiah, then the destruction of 
Jerusalem must be the one Daniel envisioned, because it was on the 
same time line. The New Testament and the works of Josephus are 
completely entwined and mutually supportive. 

Finally, Jesus and Josephus both "recommend" only one 
prophet to their readers. They each recommend Daniel. Josephus 
writes: . . . yet if any one be so very desirous of knowing truth, as 



Josephus' Use oj the Book oj Daniel 277 

not to waive such points of curiosity, and cannot curb his inclination 
for understanding the uncertainties of futurity, and whether they 
will happen or not, let him be diligent in reading the book of Daniel, 
which he will find among the sacred writings. 182 

Both the authors of the New Testament and Josephus attempted 
to have their readers come to the same mistaken conclusion about 
the prophecies of Daniel, that they came to pass within the first cen- 
tury. This fact suggests that the same person or group produced both 
works, because two independent authors would not have, by 
chance, come to such a conclusion. 



CHAPTER 14 



Building Jesus 



The authors of the Gospels constructed Jesus from the lives of sev- 
eral prophets in the Jewish canon. Thus, since Elijah and Elisha had 
raised children from the dead, Jesus would do the same. Whenever 
possible, Jesus' miracles would be greater than the ones they were 
based upon. For example, Elisha satisfied a hundred men with 
twenty loaves and had bread to spare. 183 So Jesus would feed five 
thousand men with five loaves and two fishes, and have twelve bas- 
ketsful to spare. Since Jesus was to be the prophet envisioned by 
Daniel, Jesus' life would also include episodes that fulfilled Daniel's 
prophecies. However, though many of the extraordinary accomplish- 
ments of Jesus' ministry were taken from the lives of prior prophets, 
the character he was primarily based upon was Moses. Moses was 
chosen as the basic prototype for Jesus because he had been the 
founder of the religion Christianity would replace. The founder of 
the new religion was to be seen as the new Moses. This is already 
widely recognized in New Testament scholarship. 

The fact that Jesus was based on Moses is easy to demonstrate, 
because the authors of the Gospels went out of their way to make 
sure the converts to Christianity understood this. For example, the 
story of Jesus' childhood in Matthew is based on the childhood of 
Moses. The outline is the same in both cases — the birth of a child 
causes distress to the rulers, followed by a consultation with wise 
men, a massacre of children, and a miraculous rescue, with Egypt as 
the land of rescue. 

In addition to creating parallels between the lives of the founders 
of the two religions, the authors of the Gospels also borrowed events 



278 



Building Jesus 279 

from the story of Exodus to create the impression that Christianity, 
like Judaism, was of divine origin. The best-known of these are the 
parallels that the Gospels use to set up Jesus as a "Passover lamb," 
establishing him as the "deliverer" of the religion that was to replace 
Judaism. 

All four Gospels show, as does Paul, that Passover, and Judaism 
itself, are obsolete. Jesus' sacrifice of himself creates a new Passover 
and a new religion. It is important to recognize how literally early 
Christianity saw itself as a replacement for Judaism, even to the 
extent that the early church fathers claimed that the ancient Hebrews 
were Christians and not Jews. Eusebius wrote: 

That the Hebrew nation is not new, but is universally hon- 
ored on account of its antiquity, is known to all. The books 
and writings of this people contain accounts of ancient 
men, rare indeed and few in number, but nevertheless dis- 
tinguished for piety and righteousness and every other 
virtue. Of these, some excellent men lived before the flood, 
others of the sons and descendants of Noah lived after it, 
among them Abraham, whom the Hebrews celebrate as 
their own founder and forefather. 

If any one should assert that all those who have 
enjoyed the testimony of righteousness, from Abraham 
himself back to the first man, were Christians in fact if not 
in name, he would not go beyond the truth. 184 

Jesus introduces the idea that Christianity will replace Judaism 
by stating that his "living flesh" would be a replacement for the 
manna the Israelites were given by God during their wandering in 
the wilderness. 

Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 

This is the living bread which comes down from heaven. 
That one may eat of it and not die. 

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If 
anyone eats of this bread he will live forever; and the bread 
that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of 
the world. 



280 Caesar's Messiah 

To demonstrate that Christianity's divine origin parallels 
Judaism's, the authors of Christianity took the events from the story 
of the original Exodus that had numbers associated with them and 
inserted those numbers into their story of the birth of Christianity. 
In other words, since God gave the law to Moses fifty days after the 
first Passover, Christianity would give the "new" law 50 days after 
its Passover, the crucifixion of Jesus. 

On the day that the law of Moses was given, 3,000 died for wor- 
shipping the golden calf. 185 On the day the "spirit" was given to the 
disciples of Christ, 3,000 were added into Christ and received life, 186 
signifying that the improved covenant with God brought life. 

These parallels were obviously created to establish Christianity 
as the new Judaism. The Gospels and the writings of Josephus work 
together to this end. The New Testament records the birth of the 
new Judaism while the history of Josephus records the "death" of 
Second Temple Judaism. 

All the parallels I have given above, between Christianity and 
Judaism and between Jesus and Moses, are well known. In addition, 
the authors of the Gospels also established something else hereto- 
fore unknown. By mirroring the sequence found in the story of Exo- 
dus and by establishing Jesus' crucifiction as a new Passover, they 
established a continuum, one that mirrored the story of the Israelites 
leaving Egypt and "wandering" until they were permitted to enter 
the promised land forty years after the first Passover. As with the 
time sequence for the fulfillment of the prophecies of Daniel, once 
the continuum of the "new Exodus" had begun, there could be no 
stopping until all had come to pass. 

What is the conclusion to the forty years of wandering in the 
New Testament? Since the Gospels end shortly after Jesus' death, 
where is the conclusion to Christianity's forty year Exodus recorded? 
The answer is found within War of the Jews. 

To conclude Christianity's forty-year cycle, Josephus links the 
date of Jesus' crucifixion to the date he established for the destruc- 
tion of Masada. Josephus "records" that the year the stronghold was 
destroyed was 73 C.E. Scholars, citing archeological evidence, often 
date the fall of Masada to 74, not 73 C.E. They may well be correct, 
but Josephus was interested not in recording history but in creating 



Building Jesus 281 

mythology. He therefore entitled the chapter that contains the pas- 
sage describing Masada's destruction as follows: 

Concerning the interval of about three years: from the taking of 
Jerusalem by Titus to the sedition of the Jews at Cyrene. 187 

Josephus does not need to be any more precise than he is in the 
phrase "about three years." If his time span is inaccurate, and it 
surely is, who had been there to point out his error? Josephus is only 
interested in using "history" to convey his message. In this instance, 
he wishes the reader to believe that Masada fell three and a half years 
after the destruction of the temple, that is, in 73 C.E. 

Josephus then gives the day and month of the conclusion to the 
siege at Masada. 

They then chose ten men by lot out of them to slay all the 
rest; every one of whom laid himself down by his wife and 
children on the ground, and threw his arms about them, 
and they offered their necks to the stroke of those who by 
lot executed that melancholy office; and when these ten 
had, without fear, slain them all, they made the same rule 
for casting lots for themselves, that he whose lot it was 
should first kill the other nine, and after all should kill him- 
self. . . . Those others were nine hundred and sixty in num- 
ber, the women and children being withal included in that 
computation. This calamitous slaughter was made on the 
fifteenth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan]. 188 

Josephus records that the fourteenth of Nisan is the day when 
the Jews celebrated Passover. The Gospel of John states that Jesus 
was crucified on the thirteenth of Nisan and arose on the fifteenth. 
The fifteenth of Nisan, 73 C.E., is forty years to the day after Christ's 
resurrection. Only readers of both the Gospels and Josephus would 
be aware of this exact forty-year time span. 

In other words, the Gospel of John establishes the date of Jesus' 
resurrection as the fifteenth of Nisan, 33 C.E., and Josephus estab- 
lishes the date of the end of the Jewish war as the fifteenth of Nisan, 
73 C.E. It is only when the two works are read together that readers 
are able to understand that it was, just as Jesus had predicted, exactly 
forty years between the two events. Again, either Josephus inadver- 



282 Caesar's Messiah 

tently recorded something truly supernatural, or the two works had 
been aligned to create this effect. 

The authors of the New Testament and Josephus thus created a 
parallel between the first forty years of Judaism, during which the 
Israelites wandered in the wilderness, and the first forty years of 
Christianity These forty years of wandering for Christianity date 
from Christ's resurrection on the 15th of Nisan, 33 C.E., until the 
end of the Jewish rebellion, which is marked by the destruction of 
the Sicarii, the movement that Christianity replaced, on the 15th of 
Nisan, 73 C.E. 

The parallel forty years of wandering by the two religions is, of 
course, a continuation of the parallels between Jesus and Moses, 
which were designed to create the impression that the origin of 
Christianity parallels the divine origin of Judaism. The forty years of 
wandering for Christianity was inspired by the following passage 
from Joshua, which describes what happened to the Israelites after 
the original Passover. 

The passage makes clear the logic behind the New Testament 
authors' decision to establish the precise forty-year interval between 
Jesus' death and the destruction of Masada. They wished to show 
not only that Christianity's origin paralleled Judaism's, which proved 
it had replaced Judaism's special relationship with God, but also that 
the 70 C.E. destruction of Jerusalem had been divinely ordained. 
The "men of war were consumed because they obeyed not the voice 
of the Lord" — exactly as had happened after the original Passover. 

For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilder- 
ness, till all the people that were men of war, which came 
out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the 
voice of the Lord: unto whom the Lord sware that he would 
not shew them the land, which the Lord sware unto their 
fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk 
and honey. 189 

Forty years is the traditional period of penance for the Israelites 
as well as the length of a generation. This tradition stems, of course, 
from the original forty years of wandering. By giving Christianity a 
forty-year cycle, the Romans were "proving" that their conquest of 



Building Jesus 283 

Judea was merely another case of God's wrath for Jewish wicked- 
ness, as had often been recorded by the Jews' own religious literature. 

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the 
Lord; and the Lord delivered them into the hand of the 
Philistines forty years. 190 

I want to underline how important this forty-year period after 
Jesus' death is for the theory of there being a single source for the 
New Testament and the works of Josephus. In the Gospel of John, 
Jesus' ministry is described as having encompassed three Passovers. 
These three Passovers are not mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels. 
The author of John consciously establishes the date of Christ's death 
as occurring in the year 33 C.E. He does this because this is the only 
way possible, arithmetically, to create the correct alignment with the 
prophecies of Daniel and also to create a forty-year cycle between 
Jesus' resurrection and the end of the Jewish war. 

The works of Josephus have been deliberately configured to 
demonstrate that the prophecies of Daniel culminate in the 70 C.E. 
destruction of Jerusalem — an understanding he shared with the 
writers of the Gospels. 

In order to prove that Rome had God's divine providence, the 
creators of Christianity provided "evidence" that the 70 C.E. sack- 
ing of Jerusalem was foreseen by Daniel, the evidence being the "his- 
tories" of Josephus. In this way, all the important dates of Jesus' life 
were back-calculated to be in alignment with the destruction of 
Jerusalem. This is completely clear with regard to the beginning of 
his ministry and his resurrection. My conjecture is that Jesus' birth 
was also established at exactly seventy years before the siege of 
Jerusalem. Though scholars have given a number of explanations of 
how the year of Christ's birth was exactly seventy years from the 
destruction of Jerusalem, my analysis suggests that it was done to 
mimic the seventy years "in the desolations of Jerusalem" described 
in the Book of Daniel. 

In the first year of his reign Daniel understood by books the 
number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to 
Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy 
years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 191 



284 Caesar's Messiah 

The dates of Jesus' life were simply more "pieces" of Judaism 
chosen by the creators of Christianity to meet its logical and theo- 
logical requirements. The central events of Christianity — the birth 
of Christ, the beginning of his ministry, and his death, are 1 C.E., 30 
C.E., and 33 C.E. All these dates were calculated backward from the 
destruction of Jerusalem. They were chosen to fit into a pattern that 
combined the prophecies of Daniel and the life of Moses. 

The beginning of Jesus' ministry in 30 C.E. was calculated to be 
exactly forty years from the day that the Romans under Titus pitched 
camp outside Jerusalem, the "Second Coming." This dating system 
is not based upon the birth of a world-historical religious leader, but 
orients itself from the destruction of a city. 

Thus, the theological chronology created by the inventors of 
Christianity ran in a forty-year cycle between Jesus' resurrection and 
the fall of Masada. While this forty-year cycle was in motion, the 
other template for Christianity, the prophecies of Daniel, ran con- 
currently. 

In fact, Christianity's version of the prophecies of Daniel was 
heading for its conclusion on the same day as its forty-year cycle of 
wandering. 

In the following passage, notice that the day the Romans pitched 
camp at Jerusalem was the fourteenth of Nisan. Josephus is falsify- 
ing history once again to create both a parallel between Jesus' min- 
istry and Titus' campaign and a point of orientation for the prophe- 
cies of Daniel. 

The date Josephus gives for when the Romans first pitched 
camp outside Jerusalem was exactly forty years from the first of the 
three Passovers used by John to date Jesus' ministry — the day that 
Jesus first came to Jerusalem. 192 Josephus wishes us to believe that 
Jesus came to Jerusalem forty years before Titus began his siege of 
Jerusalem, a siege that Jesus predicted would occur before his gen- 
eration had passed away. He also wishes us to believe that Masada 
fell forty years to the day from Jesus' resurrection. These two perfect 
forty-year cycles are, of course, absurd and, in and of themselves, 
show the planned relationship between the New Testament and War 
of the Jews. 



Building Jesus 285 

I have included the entire passage, because it shows the brutal- 
ity of the destruction. Notice the use of the word "repent" in con- 
junction with the Jewish rebels. 

And, indeed, why do I relate these particular calamities? 
While Manneus, the son of Lazarus, came running to Titus 
at this very time, and told him that there had been carried 
out through that one gate, which was intrusted to his care, 
no fewer than a hundred and fifteen thousand eight hun- 
dred and eighty dead bodies, in the interval between the 
fourteenth day of the month Xanthicus [Nisan], when the 
Romans pitched their camp by the city, and the first day of 
the month Panemus [Tammuz]. This was itself a prodigious 
multitude; and though this man was not himself set as a 
governor at that gate, yet was he appointed to pay the pub- 
lic stipend for carrying these bodies out, and so was obliged 
of necessity to number them, while the rest were buried by 
their relations; though all their burial was but this, to bring 
them away, and cast them out of the city. After this man 
there ran away to Titus many of the eminent citizens, and 
told him the entire number of the poor that were dead, and 
that no fewer than six hundred thousand were thrown out at 
the gates, though still the number of the rest could not be 
discovered; and they told him further, that when they were 
no longer able to carry out the dead bodies of the poor, they 
laid their corpses on heaps in very large houses, and shut 
them up therein; as also that a medimnus of wheat was sold 
for a talent; and that when, a while afterward, it was not 
possible to gather herbs, by reason the city was all walled 
about, some persons were driven to that terrible distress as 
to search the common sewers and/old dunghills of cattle, 
and to eat the dung which they got there; and what they of 
old could not endure so much as to see they now used for 
food. When the Romans barely heard all this, they commis- 
erated their case; while the seditious, who saw it also, did 
not repent, but suffered the same distress to come upon 
themselves; for they were blinded by that fate which was 
already coming upon the city, and upon themselves also. 193 



286 Caesar's Messiah 

It is important to bear in mind that because Josephus' time 
sequences are fiction, there is no real way to know when Jerusalem 
was destroyed or when Masada fell. In fact, if we conclude that all 
the dates in Josephus are untrustworthy we lose our entire chrono- 
logical understanding of the first century. But this is beside the point 
with regard to this work. All we need to know is whether Josephus 
was intentionally creating the impression that it was seven years 
from the beginning of the war until the fall of Masada. And of this 
we can be certain, because the precise alignment of the dates 
required to "prove" that Daniel's prophecies were coming to pass 
could only have been evidence of God's hand on earth or have been 
created intentionally. 

In fact, all the dates Josephus mentions that are in alignment 
with the New Testament are to be expected. Once Josephus has linked 
events from the war to Daniel's prophecies, he cannot stop until the 
conclusion of the "week" — that is, three and a half years from when 
the "daily sacrifice" ended. Just as, once the New Testament began 
the forty-year cycle of the Exodus with the establishment of its 
Passover Lamb, there could be no stopping until the "men of war 
were consumed because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord." 

The Book of Daniel states 

Then he shall confirm a covenant for one week; but in the 
middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and 
offering, and on the wing of one abomination shall be the 
one who makes desolate . . . 194 

Once Josephus has shown that the end of the daily sacrifice 
occurs exactly three and a half years from the beginning of the 
"week," that is, from the beginning of the war, he must stay within 
the confines of Daniel's prophecies in order to prove that they have 
"come to pass." He must conclude the seven-year "week" three and 
a half years from the date he gives for the end of the daily sacrifice. 
He orients the reader to this time structure with the title he creates for 
the chapter of War of the Jews that describes the destruction of Masada: 

Concerning the interval of about three years: from the taking 
of Jerusalem by Titus to the sedition of the Jews at Cyrene. 



Building Jesus 287 

Notice that this chapter's title uses the same device that the 
author used to orient the fall of Masada to the forty-year cycle. The 
two streams of theological support for Christianity, Moses and 
Daniel, have been fused. They are heading for a simultaneous con- 
clusion at Masada on the day Christianity replaces Judaism. 

Josephus outlines the symbolic landscape of his theological 
coup by recording that the leader of the Jewish rebels at Masada was 
another Eleazar — who, as noted above, was a descendant of Judas 
the Galilean, and, like his ancestor, a leader of the Sicarii. 

The New Testament and Josephus work together to create a sub- 
tle but clear relationship between the families of Judas the Galilean, 
their Sicarii followers, and Jesus and his family and followers. 

This relationship has three central points. First, the New Testa- 
ment records that Jesus' family agreed to pay the Roman tax by 
going to Bethlehem to register in the census of Quirinus. This places 
Jesus' family in direct opposition to Judas the Galilean because Jose- 
phus records that 

a certain Galilean named Judas prevailed with his country- 
men to revolt; and said they were cowards if they would 
endure to pay a tax to the Romans and submit to mortal 
men as their lords. . . 195 

Second, the New Testament records that Judas the Iscariot 
(Sicarii), son of Simon the Iscariot, was responsible for Jesus' cruci- 
fixion, thereby showing that the Sicarii are responsible for Jesus' death. 

He alluded to Judas, the son of Simon the Iscariot. For he it 
was who, though one of the Twelve, was afterwards to 
betray Him. 

John 6:71 

While supper was proceeding, the Devil having by this time 
suggested to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, the thought 
of betraying Him . . . 

John 13:2 

Finally, Josephus records that Eleazar, Judas the Galilean's descen- 
dant, and his Sicarii followers destroyed themselves at Masada forty 



288 Caesar's Messiah 

years to the day from Jesus' resurrection. This perfectly identifies the 
Sicarii as members of the "wicked generation" who Jesus warned 
would be destroyed before the generation passed away. 

Masada brings an end to what Josephus describes as the "fourth 
philosophy," a synonym for the Sicarii, the messianic movement 
founded by Judas the Galilean. The suicide of the Sicarii on this date 
was meant to represent "atonement" for their role in crucifying Jesus 
forty years ago. By simultaneously concluding Christianity's forty 
years of wandering and the end of the "fourth philosophy," the mes- 
sianic movement Christianity replaced, Josephus is making the 
point that the future belongs to Christianity. 

And he was correct of course: the future did belong to Chris- 
tianity. By the midpoint of the second century C.E., Judaism had 
been driven from its homeland and would never again be a signifi- 
cant threat to Rome. 

Josephus' recording of the fall of Masada contains many telling 
points: 

He reiterates that John, the Sicarii leader who was lampooned as 
the Apostle John, like the man from Gadara with the unclean spirit 
in the New Testament, filled the countryside with wickedness. 

Yet did John demonstrate by his actions that these Sicarii 
were more moderate than he was himself, for he not only 
slew all such as gave him good counsel to do what was right, 
but treated them worst of all, as the most bitter enemies 
that he had among all the Citizens; nay, he filled his entire 
country with ten thousand instances of wickedness . . . 

Josephus records Eleazar's belief that God has condemned the 
Jewish nation. The unspoken point, since God has condemned 
Judaism, is that Christianity is its replacement. 

It had been proper indeed for us to have conjectured at the 
purpose of God much sooner, and at the very first, when we 
were so desirous of defending our liberty, and when we 
received such sore treatment from one another, and worse 
treatment from our enemies, and to have been sensible 
that the same God, who had of old taken the Jewish nation 
into his favor, had now condemned them to destruction . . . 



Building Jesus 289 

Josephus makes Eleazar repeat time and again that God has 
turned against the Jews. 

". . . we are openly deprived by God himself of all hope of 
deliverance; for that fire which was driven upon our ene- 
mies did not of its own accord turn back upon the wall 
which we had built; this was the effect of God's anger 
against us for our manifold sins, which we have been guilty 
of in a most insolent and extravagant manner with regard to 
our own countrymen; the punishments of which let us not 
receive from the Romans, but from God himself. . . 

. . . however, the circumstances we are now in ought to 
be an inducement to us to bear such calamity coura- 
geously, since it is by the wilt of God, and by necessity, that 
we are to die; for it now appears that God hath made such 
a decree against the whole Jewish nation, that we are to be 
deprived of this life which [he knew] we would not make a 
due use of. 

This it is that our laws command us to do this; it is that 
our wives and children crave at our hands; nay, God himself 
hath brought this necessity upon us; while the Romans 
desire the contrary, and are afraid lest any of us should die 
before we are taken. Let us therefore make haste, and 
instead of affording them so much pleasure, as they hope 
for in getting us under their power, let us leave them an 
example which shall at once cause their astonishment at 
our death, and their admiration of our hardiness therein." 196 

The suspicion scholars have regarding the accuracy of Eleazar's 
speech is well-founded. They should also question Josephus' dates 
for the siege and the fall of Masada, which are no more historical 
than his descriptions of either the siege or Eleazar's speech. The 
dates have been invented to provide support for Christianity. Read- 
ers who wish to confirm my findings for themselves may simply take 
the dates of Jesus' ministry and crucifixion as found in the Gospel of 
John and compare them with the dates Josephus gives for the events 
of the war and his use of phrases from the Book of Daniel. The truth 
will be visible. 



290 Caesar's Messiah 

When Josephus ends the war on the day following Passover in 
73 C.E., he unifies the two "principles" that Christianity was based 
on — Exodus and the Book of Daniel. Only the day Josephus records 
for the conclusion of the siege of Masada would simultaneously 
complete the seven-year week that concludes the prophecies of 
Daniel and the end of the symbolic forty-year "wandering" of Chris- 
tianity after the resurrection of Jesus. Such a miraculous occurrence 
could not happen by chance and supports the theory that Josephus 
has falsified history to show that Christianity was God's replacement 
for Judaism. Notice that the technique the authors of Christianity 
used is consistent throughout. Simon and John are transformed into 
Christian Apostles. The story of the Passover and Exodus becomes 
the first forty years of Christianity. Titus becomes the Messiah. 

One must admire the craftsmanship of the intellectuals who 
produced the works of Josephus and the New Testament. Though 
the method they used, the fusing of Daniel's prophecies with a new 
forty-year Exodus, was utterly preposterous from both a historical 
and a theological perspective, with it they were able to neatly 
remove from history a religious movement that opposed them mili- 
tarily and replace it with one aligned to their interests. In doing so, 
they were able to conform history to theology to such an extent that 
one movement ended and the other came forth on the same day. 

It is interesting that the creators of Christianity did not pass 
along this theological fusion to the early Church fathers. There is no 
evidence that any of the early church fathers, with the possible 
exception of Eusebius, understood that the destruction of Masada 
represented the simultaneous conclusion of Christianity's forty-year 
wandering and the prophecies of Daniel. The intellectuals who pro- 
duced Christianity were not to have their work appreciated for 
2,000 years. 

This disconnect between the creators of Christianity and its 
implementers is fascinating because it suggests that its first bishops 
did not need to understand a key element of Christianity. This may 
have some bearing on a subject of interest but one that I will not 
cover in this work — this being, at what point did Christianity lose 
the memory of its Roman origins? The first church scholars' lack of 
awareness of this key theological element perhaps suggests that this 



Building Jesus 291 

disconnect may have occurred very early. An example of an early 
Christian scholar who did not understand the New Testament's orig- 
inal intent was Origen, who was troubled by the name "Jesus Barab- 
bas." On the other hand, Cesare Borgia, a fifteenth century Roman 
Catholic cardinal and a son of Pope Alexander VI (Rodrigo Borgia) 
was quoted as saying, "It has served us well, this myth of Jesus." 

The reader may find it interesting to see how Christianity's 
forty-year cycle of wandering was achieved. The Gospel of John was 
created, among other reasons, to provide the necessary point of ori- 
entation to begin the forty-year cycle. The date was determined by 
calculating backward. 

Josephus records that the destruction of Masada occurred on 
the fifteenth of Xanthicus. 

This calamitous slaughter was made on the fifteenth day of 
the month Xanthicus . . . 197 

Xanthicus is the Syrian word for Nisan. A typical sleight of hand 
by Josephus, not to be too obvious. Josephus also records that the 
Jewish Passover was celebrated on the forteenth of Xanthicus/Nisan. 

When God revealed that with one more plague he would 
compel the Egyptians to let the Hebrews go, he commanded 
Moses to tell the people they should have a sacrifice ready 
and should prepare themselves on the tenth day of the 
month Xanthicus in readiness for the fourteenth (this is the 
month that is called Pharmuthi by the Egyptians, and Nisan 
by the Hebrews, but the Macedonians call it Xanthicus), and 
he should then lead away the Hebrews with all they had. 198 

The Gospel of John differs from the Synoptics in its dating 
because John describes three Passovers and thus gives Jesus' min- 
istry a three-year span. The Synoptics describe only one Passover 
and thus do not reveal the year in which Jesus was crucified. 

The Gospel of John is also different from the Synoptics in that 
it describes Jesus' crucifixion as occurring on the day before Pass- 
over, whereas in the Synoptics Jesus is crucified on Passover itself. 
Jesus was to be the Passover lamb of the new Judaism; therefore, this 
central image of Christianity was promoted in all the Gospels — in 



292 Caesar's Messiah 

contrast to Rabbinical Judaism, which merely edited out or replaced 
all the features of Second Temple Judaism that could not be per- 
formed without the temple. However, the Synoptics make an "error" 
in that they record Jesus' crucifixion as being on the day of Passover. 
In the Gospel of John Jesus is "slaughtered" on the day before 
Passover, which is when the paschal lambs were actually killed. 
John's date is more symbolically correct because it makes Jesus the 
true "lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." 199 

The differences between the dates of Jesus' crucifixion have 
always been attributed to the fact that each Gospel has a separate 
tradition. I, of course, would disagree and reiterate that while the 
four Gospels may have been produced by different individual schol- 
ars, they were under the control of a single editor who edited them 
where he saw fit. This is demonstrated by my analysis of the puzzle 
of the empty tomb (Chapter 6). 

Therefore, the differences in the dates of Jesus' crucifixion are 
by design. That is, they show that there was more than one "Jesus," 
because no one can be crucified twice. 

In any event, the chronology in John has Jesus being crucified 
on the thirteenth of Nisan, the day before Passover. Therefore he 
would have "arisen" on the fifteenth of Nisan — the third day. Jose- 
phus must therefore date the mass suicide at Masada, the "calami- 
tous slaughter" that ended the Jewish rebellion, to the fifteenth of 
Nisan. Only with this date can he align Christianity "correctly." 

Eusebius, who quotes Josephus more often than any of his con- 
temporaries, was aware of the forty-year cycle of penance that Jose- 
phus recorded between Christ's crucifixion and the destruction at 
Masada. 

Concerning those calamities, then, that befell the whole 
Jewish nation after the Saviour's passion and after the 
words which the multitude of the Jews uttered, when they 
begged the release of the robber and murderer, but 
besought that the Prince of Life should be taken from their 
midst, it is not necessary to add anything to the account of 
the historian (Josephus). 

But it may be proper to mention also those events 
which exhibited the graciousness of that all-good Provi- 



Building Jesus 293 

dence which held back their destruction full forty years after 
their crime against Christ — during which time many of the 
Apostles and disciples, and James himself the first bishop 
there, the one who is called the brother of the Lord, were still 
alive, and dwelling in Jerusalem itself, remained the surest 
bulwark of the place. Divine Providence thus still proved 
itself long-suffering toward them in order to see whether by 
repentance for what they had done they might obtain par- 
don and salvation; and in addition to such long-suffering, 
Providence also furnished wonderful signs of the things 
which were about to happen to them if they did not repent. 200 

As I have shown, numerous events in Josephus are dated in a 
way that gives the reader the impression that they were foreseen by 
Daniel. The most important is the end of the "daily sacrifice" and the 
"abominations of desolation" described above. One might argue that 
Josephus did this for a reason other than providing a historical con- 
text for Jesus. Perhaps he simply wished to make the Jews believe God 
had been responsible for their destruction. He therefore overlaid 
Daniel's prophecies onto the events of 70 C.E. to create this effect. 
He was unaware of the similar claims found in the New Testament. 
It was just chance that the parallel came to exist. While I would 
regard this argument as improbable, it should at least be considered. 

However, such an argument cannot be made for Josephus' estab- 
lishing dates that align with Christianity's mimicry of the forty-year 
cycle of Exodus. If the New Testament and War of the Jews were writ- 
ten independently, it would have been improbable that their authors 
each recorded events demonstrating that the prophecies of Daniel 
were coming to pass in the first century. However, for both authors to 
have accidentally recorded events that link the precise time sequences 
of the prophecies of Daniel with the precise time sequences of Exo- 
dus borders on the impossible. 

Either the New Testament and the works of Josephus both 
recorded a supernatural phenomenon (the unique blend of Moses 
and Daniel) or they both deliberately falsified history to provide 
support for Christianity's replacement of Judaism. 

I have suggested above that the outline of Jesus' childhood was 
fictitious, copied from the life of Moses. 



294 Caesar's Messiah 

There is another example of Jesus' fictitious childhood. In Luke's 
version of Jesus' childhood, Joseph takes his family out of Galilee to 
Bethlehem to register for the census. 

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from 
Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 

This census first took place while Quirinius was gov- 
erning Syria. 

So all went to be registered everyone to his own city. 

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of 
Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of Bethlehem, because he 
was of the house and lineage of David. 201 

The census of Quirinius was imposed on the area around 
Jerusalem, which was under Roman rule, and not on Galilee, which 
was part of the tetrarchy of Herod Antipas. At no time during the life 
of Jesus did the Romans raise tribute in Galilee. Why then would 
Joseph voluntarily travel to Bethlehem with a pregnant wife to reg- 
ister for a tax he was not required to pay? 

The passage also claims that Joseph went to Bethlehem because 
this was where the house of David registered. Scholars have long 
understood that this claim is untrue, both because the genealogy is 
unknowable and because Augustus' decree would have been logisti- 
cally impossible to implement. As E. E Sanders wrote, 

According to Luke's own genealogy David had lived 42 
generations before Joseph. Why should Joseph have had to 
register in the town of one of his ancestors 42 generations 
earlier? What was Augustus — the most rational of the Cae- 
sars — thinking of? The entirety of the Roman Empire would 
have been uprooted by such a decree. Besides, how would 
any given man know where to go? No one could trace his 
genealogy for 42 generations, but if he could, he would find 
that he had millions of ancestors (one million is passed at 
the twentieth generation). Further, David doubtless had 
tens of thousands of descendants who were alive at the 
time. Could they all identify themselves? If so, how would 
they all register in a little village? 



Building Jesus 295 

We can be certain that the pragmatic Augustus would not have 
given a decree that would both uproot the entire Roman Empire and 
be impossible to implement. Why then did the author of this Gospel 
include these false details? The reason is subtle and easy to miss. By 
traveling to Bethlehem, Joseph is agreeing to pay Roman taxes. I 
suggest that this detail occurs in the New Testament to ensure that 
the reader understands that the Messiah came from a family of loyal 
taxpayers. This also establishes Jesus the Galilean as a mirror oppo- 
site of Judas the Galilean, the inventor of the mysterious "fourth 
philosophy of the Jews," the sect that rebelled against Rome. Of 
course, to understand this point the reader must turn to Josephus. 

In response to the question of how many times a man should 
forgive his brother, Jesus responded by saying, "until seventy times 
seven." This is, of course, a reference to the amount of time that 
would pass before the destruction of Jerusalem and the "abomina- 
tions of desolation" that both Jesus and Daniel predicted. Jesus' 
response has often been mistakenly cited as an example of his 
patience. Jesus would have known that this generation would be 
destroyed. Jesus is saying that God's patience with the "wicked gen- 
eration" is over. The end is nigh. 

This comment by Jesus also shows that he is claiming to be the 
Messiah that Daniel had envisioned, the "son of God." It is easy to 
imagine how such dialogue was created. Once it was determined 
that the prophecies of Daniel were to be used as the basis for the 
Messiah, it was simple enough to have Jesus recite quotes from 
Scripture that indicated his ability to see the future. In spite of Jesus' 
reputation for original thought, there is very little among his sayings 
that does not paraphrase earlier prophets and philosophers. 

Jesus placed great stress on the negative effects of wealth and 
luxury. The theme is firmly embedded in the narrative of Jesus' 

■JO") ')C\'X 

birth, in John the Baptist's advice about how to live, in Jesus' 
keynote address in Luke's version of the beatitudes (6:20-26), 204 in 
much of the Lucan material, 205 and in the claim in Acts that the 
church practiced a "community of goods." 20S 

Throughout the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as struggling 
against a privileged establishment, whose representatives are both 



296 Caesar's Messiah 

"lovers of money" 207 and highly trained in intellectual matters, like 
the syllogists and rhetoricians denounced by the Stoic philosophers 
Seneca and Epictetus. Jesus' attacks on wealth and hypocrisy are 
generally reminiscent of the Stoic philosophy that was popular in 
Rome at this time. 

The Stoic philosopher Seneca (though immensely wealthy him- 
self) summarized his teaching as follows: 

We talk much about despising money, and we give advice 
on this subject in the lengthiest of speeches, that mankind 
may believe true riches to exist in the mind and not in one's 
bank account, and that the man who adapts himself to his 
slender means and makes himself wealthy on a little sum, 
is the truly rich man . . . 

Persius' description of the "benefits" of Stoic philosophy make 
it clear who really benefitted from the underclass's acceptance of it — 
the ruling class. Persius wrote: 

O poor wretches, learn, and come to know the causes of 
things, what we are, for what life we are born, what the 
assigned order is, where the turning point of the course is 
to be rounded gently, what limit to set on money, for what it 
is right to pray, what is the use of hard cash, how much you 
ought to spend on your country and on those near and dear 
to you, what kind of man God ordered you to be and where 
as a man you are placed. 

In the following passage Jesus advocates a position close to Sto- 
icism. Of particular interest is Luke 3:14, where Jesus advises sol- 
diers to be content with their wages. This is not a subject that comes 
to mind as essential for the son of God to touch upon during his 
brief stay on earth, but is obviously something always in the minds 
of the imperial family. 

And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then? 
He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two 
coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that 
hath meat, let him do likewise. 



Building Jesus 297 

Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto 
him, Master, what shall we do? 

And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which 
is appointed you. 

And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, 
And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence 
to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with 
your wages. 

Luke 3:10-14 

The relationship between Stoicism and slavery is interesting. 
For a master of slaves, Stoicism seems the ideal philosophy because 
it advocates acceptance of "what kind of man God ordered you to be 
and where as a man you are placed." Jesus' advocacy of principles 
similar to those of the Stoics led Bruno Bauer in the nineteenth cen- 
tury to conclude that Christianity was simply an attempt by the 
imperial family to implement Stoicism on a large scale. 

Bauer's suspicion regarding Christianity seems especially logical 
when one considers the degree to which the Roman Empire relied 
upon slavery in the first century C.E., where perhaps 40 percent of 
the population were slaves. 

Slavery was also prevalent in Judea throughout the first century. 
No records survive to enable us to know exactly what percentage of 
the Judean population were slaves, but judging from the number of 
references to slavery within Hebraic literature from the period, it 
was clearly quite common. 208 Klausner wrote that slaves were 

an important factor in the political and spiritual upheavals 
in the time of Jesus. Without them we cannot account for 
the frequent rebellions and the many religious movements 
from the time of Pompey till after the time of Pilate . . . 2C9 

There were two types of slaves in Judea during the time of Jesus, 
Hebrew and "Canaanitish slaves." The Hebrew slave had the better 
lot. Though a true slave, who did not have right to change his mas- 
ter or choose his work, the Hebrew was only retained as a slave for 
six years and his or her body was not to be used sexually. 

The Canaanitish, or non-Hebrew, slaves were treated like cattle. 
They were branded, so that they could be recognized in case they 



298 Caesar's Messiah 

escaped, or a bell was hung on them with a chain. They were inex- 
pensive to buy, costing as little as a single gold dinar. 210 The Nid- 
dad 211 records that "masters performed the most private actions in 
front of them." The masters and their sons used these slaves for sex- 
ual pleasure. 212 A slave's master was permitted to beat his slaves to 
the point of death without consequence. It needs to be noted, how- 
ever, that if the slave died from his wounds, then the master would 
be put to death. 

Klausner wrote: "Canaanitish slavery was then a horrible plague 
affecting the national body of Israel as it was also the case of other 
nations in those early days." 213 

Someone addressing the common people in Judea during the 
first century C.E., as Jesus did, would have been speaking to groups 
that contained slaves. Josephus specifically states that the Jewish 
rebels who were inspired by the hope of a militaristic Messiah were 
"slaves" and "scum." This was the historical context, according to 
the New Testament, within which Jesus was able to make numerous 
converts by preaching acceptance of one's master. 

In any event, Jesus' advocacy of accepting one's plight, and of 
pacifism, were certainly principles that the Flavians would wish to 
have taught within rebellious Judea. If one separates from the words 
of Jesus the advice that was in the interest of the imperial family, all 
that remains are truisms, widely known philosophies, and snippets 
from previous Judaic writing. 

My analysis suggests that what has been seen as most original 
about Jesus — his instruction to love one's enemy — was the aspect of 
his ministry that was most evil. Volumes have been written about 
the possible meaning of Jesus' last comment particularly, but accord- 
ing to my analysis the correct interpretation is that, since the 
authors of the New Testament considered God and Caesar one and 
the same, Jesus is, in effect, saying give everything to Caesar. 

Among the Dead Sea Scrolls were found fragments of a work 
entitled The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs — a work that had 
been previously known to scholars only in Greek, Latin, or Ethiopic 
translations, and had been assumed to be an apocryphal early Chris- 
tian text. Its discovery among the Scrolls poses problems for Chris- 
tianity, especially in light of the fact that whoever wrote the Pauline 



Building Jesus 299 

Epistles had clearly used it as a source. There are over seventy words 
common to the Testaments and the Pauline Epistles that are not found 
in the rest of the New Testament, a fact discovered by Dr. R. H. 
Charles and noted in his edition of the Testaments. The implication 
is, of course, that the authors of the Pauline Epistles were using ear- 
lier Jewish source material to create their work. 

The most important parallel is between Matthew 25:35-36 and 
the passage from the Testament of Joseph 1:5-6. It appears that 
either the former is a copy of the latter or that both were derived 
from a common source. In the Testaments, the order of the common 
words is hunger, alone, sick, prison and in Matthew hunger, a stranger, 
sick, prison. 

I was sold into slavery, and the Lord of all made me free: 

I was taken into captivity and His strong hand succored 
me. 

I was beset with hunger, and the Lord himself nour- 
ished me. 

I was alone and God comforted me: 

I was sick, and the Lord visited me: 

I was in prison, and the Lord showed favor to me: 

In bonds, and he released me. 

Testament of Joseph 1 :5-6 

For I was hungry and you gave me food, 
I was thirsty and you gave me drink, 
I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 
I was naked and you clothed me, 
I was sick and you visited me, 
I was in prison, and you came to me . . . 

Matt. 25: 35-36 

In the version in the Testaments, the Lord releases the person 
praying after he is sold into slavery, taken into captivity, and placed 
in bonds. The version in Matthew does not include these words but 
adds thirsty and naked. In other words, the prayer in Matthew is a 
version of the passage in Testament of Joseph but does not include 
the ideas that Rome would not have wanted. Matthew's version is 
completely compatible with the teachings of the pacifist Messiah 



300 Caesar's Messiah 

who urges his followers to turn the other cheek and to avoid even 
anger, let alone murder. 

If literature found among the Dead Sea Scrolls was actually the 
inspirational theology for Judas the Galilean and his rebel move- 
ment, when we compare the differences between the two works 
above we are actually witnessing the Roman transformation of 
Judaic theology into Christianity. We are seeing the transformation 
word by word. 

I would also point out the moral issue involved in the editing of 
the passages above. Not to include the prayers of slaves beseeching 
God to release them from their bonds is to remove from the religion 
its humanity. 

Another example of the authors borrowing theology found with 
the Dead Sea Scrolls is in their description of the Messiah. 

In Luke 1:32-35 we read a description of the Messiah. 

. . . Shall be great and shall be called the Son of the Most 
High, and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his 
father David. And he shall reign over the house of Jacob 
forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end ... He 
shall be called holy, the Son of God. 

The scrolls found at Qumran also describe a Messiah. 

. . . Son of God he will be called and Son of the Most High 
they will name him ... His kingdom will be an everlasting 
kingdom ... he will judge the earth in truth . . . The Great 
God . . . will give people into his hand and all of them will 
cast down before him. His sovereignty is everlasting sover- 
eignty. 21 ' 1 

In the passage from the New Testament, Luke seems to have 
borrowed his description of the Messiah from the depiction of the 
Messiah found at Qumran. However, he did not borrow the mili- 
taristic, son of David nature of that Messiah. The Jesus in the New 
Testament is a tax -paying pacifist. As the Messiah was defined in the 
New Testament he was a savior with Roman values, not the values 
of the followers of the militant Judaism found in the scrolls. 



Building Jesus 301 

Christianity was created to be an alternative to the type of rebel- 
lious Judaism that swept across Judea in the first century C.E. It is 
important to try to identify the individuals who were converting to 
the militaristic Judaism and for whom Christianity was to be an 
alternative. We are fortunate that Josephus has actually provided a 
description of these individuals. Notice he identifies them as the 
"wicked generation." 

... nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in 
wickedness than this was, from the beginning of the world 
. . . They confessed what was true, that they were the 
slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of 
our nation . . . 215 

Josephus describes the Jewish rebels as slaves and scum. Chris- 
tianity was developed to compete with militaristic Judaism for the 
faith of these people, to prevent the militant brand of messianic 
Judaism from spreading to them. It is clear, therefore, that the reli- 
gion that was the basis of Western morality was invented for the 
pacification of slaves. 



CHAPTER 15 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 



My analysis revealed that the Apostles John and Simon were lam- 
poons of Jewish militants that turned these leaders of the Jewish 
rebellion into Christians. I therefore attempted to determine if other 
distortions of history, either in the New Testament or War of the Jews, 
had been used in the creation of Christianity. The first thing that 
struck me after beginning this inquiry was that there were simply 
too many characters in both works with the names Simon, John, 
Judas, Eleazar (Lazarus), Matthias (Matthew), Joseph, Mary, and 
Jesus. 

If you consult the Dictionary of Scripture Proper Names in Web- 
ster's Unabridged, you will find hundreds of Hebrew first names. 
Notably, in both Josephus and the New Testament the same few Jew- 
ish names proliferate. In War of the Jews there are nine Eleazars, 
three Jacobs (Jameses), six Jesuses, five Matthiases (Matthew), one 
Mary, four Mariammes, eight Johns, seven Josephs, ten Judases, and 
thirteen Simons. In the New Testament the same pattern occurs: 
there are seven Marys, nine Simons, two Johns, two Josephs, four 
Judases, two Lazaruses (Eleazar), two Matthiases (Matthews), two 
Jameses, and, at the minimum, three Jesuses. From the standpoint 
of probability, it is unlikely that this set of names would even over- 
lap in two works that have so few named characters, let alone with 
this many duplications. 

I suspected that the authors of the New Testament and the 
works of Josephus had deliberately used these particular names over 
and over. But if these particular names were used deliberately, what 
was the intent? 



302 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 303 

The answer lies in the fact that this same set of names was 
known to have been used by a third group, the Maccabees, the fam- 
ily that ruled Israel during the first and second centuries B.C.E., 
until they were replaced by the Romans with Herod. Within that 
family are found the same names that are so overused by Josephus 
and the New Testament. The founder of the dynasty was Mattathias 
(Matthew), who had five sons named Simon, Judas, John, Eleazar 
(Lazarus), and Jonathan. 

NOW at this time there was one whose name was Mat- 
tathias, who dwelt at Modin, the son of John, the son of 
Simeon, the son of Asamoneus, a priest of the order of 
Joarib, and a citizen of Jerusalem. He had five sons; John, 
who was called Gaddis, and Simon, who was called 
Matthes, and Judas, who was called Maccabeus, and 
Eleazar, who was called Auran, and Jonathan, who was 
called Apphus. Now this Mattathias lamented to his chil- 
dren the sad state of their affairs, and the ravage made in 
the city, and the plundering of the temple, and the calami- 
ties the multitude were under; and he told them that it was 
better for them to die for the laws of their country, than to 
live so ingloriously as they then did. 216 

Josephus also claims to bean ancestor of the Maccabees, by way 
of a daughter of Simon, son of Mattathias, who is mentioned above. 
In charting his lineage, Josephus records that his branch of the fam- 
ily alternated the names of the males every other generation: Jose- 
phus' father was named Mattathias, while his grandfather had been 
named Josephus, etc. Therefore, the male names used multiple times 
in the New Testament are almost exactly the same as those Josephus 
says were used by the males of the Maccabee family. These names are 
Joseph, Judas, Simon, Eleazar (Lazarus), John, and Matthias 
(Matthew). 

It is interesting that Jesus, like the sons of Matthias, the founder 
of the Maccabean dynasty, was also said to be one of five sons. 
Notice how some of the names in Jesus' family are Maccabean. 



304 Caesar's Messiah 

Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called 
Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses (Joseph), and 
Simon, and Judas? 

Matt. 13:55 

The Maccabees were the creators of the Judea that Rome 
destroyed. For 376 years, from Zerubbabel to Jonathan Maccabaeus 
(537-161 B.C.E.), there had been only a negligible Jewish state. 
Many writers of this era were not even aware of the existence of 
Judea. The Greek historian Herodotus, painstakingly exact in his 
documentation of the nations and peoples of the known world, 
refers only to the Syrians of Palestine ("Philistia") when he describes 
the area. But the embers of a Jewish national identity were never 
completely extinguished and in the second century B.C.E. the Mac- 
cabean family became the leaders of a movement that brought Eretz 
Israel (the land of Israel) back into existence. 

The Maccabees conquered the territories of Samaria, Galilee, 
Edom, and Moab and the cities of Gadara, Pella, Gersa, Gamala, and 
Gaza. The inhabitants of any area the Maccabees conquered were 
forced to convert to Judaism and the males were circumcised. Those 
who refused were executed. 

The reign of the Maccabees ended in 37 B.C.E. when Herod, 
with Roman support, defeated Matthias Antigonus, the last Mac- 
cabean king of Israel. The original Herod was not a Jew but an 
Edomite Arab. His authority was challenged by the religiously zeal- 
ous Jews who believed in the maintenance of a separate racial iden- 
tity. "Whoso marries an Aramean woman, the Zealots lynch him." 217 

The people of Israel dubbed Herod "the Edomite slave," refer- 
ring both to his slavish relationship with Rome and to his non-Jew- 
ish background. To many Jews, Herod and his descendants were 
thus unacceptable as the kings of Israel. Josephus describes a mes- 
sianic movement that he calls the "fourth philosophy" which was 
begun by Judas the Galilean (in the same year that Jesus was pur- 
portedly born), who led a rebellion against the Herods and Rome 
that continued until the fall of Masada in 73 C.E. 

As Josephus relates it, most of the leaders of this philosophy had 
"Maccabean" names, and in many instances were related to one 
another. For example, in addition to Judas the Galilean, who is cred- 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 305 

ited with creating the "fourth philosophy," Josephus lists someone 
named Eleazar as the person who actually starts the war. John and 
Simon were the names of the "Jewish tyrants" who controlled the 
rebels during the siege of Jerusalem. The movement ends at Masada 
when the Sicarii destroy themselves under the leadership of some- 
one also named Eleazar, who was also identified as a descendant of 
Judas the Galilean. 

Josephus records the names of the leaders of the Jewish rebel- 
lion at its onset in 66 C.E. Josephus' list continues the pattern of 
"overusing" Maccabean names and includes a John, a Matthias, an 
Eleazar (Lazarus), a Simon, and a Joseph (himself). Notably, there is 
also a Jesus. 

They also chose other generals for Idumea; Jesus, the son 
of Sapphias, one of the high priests; and Eleazar, the son of 
Ananias, the high priest; they also enjoined Niger, the then 
governor of Idumea, who was of a family that belonged to 
Perea, beyond Jordan, and was thence called the Peraite, 
that he should be obedient to those fore-named command- 
ers. Nor did they neglect the care of other parts of the 
country; but Joseph the son of Simon was sent as general 
to Jericho, as was Manasseh to Perea, and John, the Ess- 
cue, to the toparchy of Thamna; Lydda was also added to 
his portion, and Joppa, and Emmaus. But John, the son of 
Matthias, was made governor of the toparchies of Gophnit- 
ica and Acrabattene; as was Josephus, the son of Matthias, 
of both the Galilees. Gamala also, which was the strongest 
city in those parts, was put under his command. 218 

Because the Maccabees were the royal family Herod defeated, 
and were religious zealots, it is logical that they would have been a 
focus of those zealous Jews who rebelled against Herod's rule. Herod 
is also recorded as systematically killing members of the Maccabean 
family. 

It seemed to me, based on their persistent use of Maccabean 
names, that the family of Judas the Galilean was descended from the 
Maccabees, though this is not recorded by Josephus or in any other 
extant history. I have yet another reason for reaching this conclu- 
sion. The discovery of the true identity of the Apostles John and 



306 Caesar's Messiah 

Simon, as well as the original Messiah, Eleazar, had shown me that 
Josephus could deliberately have obfuscated their true identities to 
create the historical confusion in which Christianity was grafted 
onto the Sicarii movement. Therefore, if Josephus had omitted 
recording the fact that the family of Judas the Galilean was 
descended from the Maccabees, he would simply have been contin- 
uing this intentional obfuscation. 

Josephus and the authors of the New Testament turned the Mac- 
cabean family, members of which had led the first-century revolt 
against Rome, into the Apostles and the family of Jesus, the Messiah 
of peace, whom Rome had invented to replace the warrior Messiah 
of Maccabean Judaism. 

I suspect that within first-century Judea, the Maccabean family 
was regarded as messianic, and was similar to what is called a 
Caliphate throughout the Islamic world today — Caliph meaning 
"successor" in Arabic. Such a family needed to have a way of identi- 
fying its members, particularly its successors. The purpose of and 
theoveruse of Maccabean names, ad absurdum, in Josephus and the 
New Testament was to interfere with this process and, in the confu- 
sion, to graft Christianity onto the movement that centered on that 
family. The fact that there were messianic families in first-century 
Judea is borne out by a quote from Eusebius citing an earlier work 
by Hegesippus. 

Vespasian, after the capture of Jerusalem, issued an order 
to ensure that no one who was of the royal stock should be 
left among the Jews, that all the descendants of David 
should be ferreted out and for this reason a further wide- 
spread persecution was again inflicted upon the Jews. 219 

The previous quote shows that the Romans were indeed trying 
to eradicate at least one messianic family. Notice that the Messiah 
who was a problem for the Romans was identified as Jewish. 
Destroying the family from which this Messiah was spawned is 
described as a continuation of the persecutions of the Jews. This 
shows that Rome oppressed a Jewish, not a Christian, messianic 
movement in the first century C.E. 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 307 

Supporting the contention that Rome saw the family of Judas 
the Galilean as part of this messianic problem is that Josephus 
records that the "world ruler," or Messianic prophesies, were what 
most stirred the masses to revolt, and that the only family specifi- 
cally targeted for destruction by the Romans was the family of Judas 
the Galilean. Notice in the following passage that Judas' sons are 
named James and Simon, just as two of the Apostles. 

And besides this, the sons of Judas of Galilee were now 
slain; I mean of that Judas who caused the people to revolt, 
when Cyrenius came to take an account of the estates of 
the Jews, as we have showed in a foregoing book. The 
names of those sons were James and Simon, whom 
Alexander commanded to be crucified. 220 

Josephus also records that Judas' descendant "Eleazar" was in 
charge of the Sicarii at Masada in 70 C.E. when the "fourth philoso- 
phy" was finally destroyed. It seems clear that a family that had led 
messianic revolutionaries generation after generation would have 
been the family from whom a Messiah would be expected. 

The passage above suggests that the Zealots saw the family of 
Judas the Galilean as a messianic family. However, the Maccabees 
were of the seed of Aaron and not of the family of David. If the fam- 
ily of Judas the Galilean were descendants of the Maccabees, and 
therefore of Aaron, how could they have been seen as messianic by 
the Jewish rebels? 

Though the son of David has come to be the Messiah's epithet 
in both the Talmud and the New Testament, in the first and second 
centuries C.E. many Jews looked to a Messiah other than the one 
"coming" from the family of David. Rabbi Akiba, for example, 
believed that Bar Kokhbah, the revolutionary Jewish leader of the 
second century C.E., was the true Messiah though nowhere was it 
claimed that he was of the house of David. 

More important is the fact that found among the Dead Sea 
Scrolls were two works, the Damascus Document and Ttt Rule, both 
of which describe a sect that looked forward to the appearance of a 
Messiah. In both works, this coming Messiah is described as a mem- 
ber of the family of Aaron. 



308 Caesar's Messiah 

This is the exact statement of the statutes in which (they 
shall walk until the coming of the Messiah) of Aaron and 
Israel who will pardon their iniquity. 221 

They shall depart from none of the counsels of the Law 
. . . until there shall come the Prophet and the Messiahs of 
Aaron and Israel. . . 222 

Each work also refers to the family of Aaron in a way that shows 
it to be in a position of leadership. 

But God remembered the Covenant with the forefathers 
and raised from Aaron men of discernment . . . 223 

The Sons of Aaron alone shall command in matters of 
justice and property . . . 224 

The authors of the New Testament were well aware that the 
Messiah did not need be of the family of David. Jesus is quoted as 
stating exactly that: 

How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the son of 
David? 

For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The Lord said 
to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine ene- 
mies thy footstool. 

David therefore himself calleth him [the Messiah] Lord; 
how then can he be his son? 

Mark 12:35-37 

That Jesus stated that the Messiah need not be of the family of 
David should not be surprising, because Jesus himself was not of 
that family. The Gospels of Matthew and Luke trace completely dif- 
ferent versions of Jesus' "family of David" genealogy through his 
father Joseph, who, of course, was not his father at all. A fact well 
known to the authors of the Gospels because, according to them, he 
was born of the Holy Spirit and a virgin. 

Given the fact that the family of Aaron was considered mes- 
sianic by many Jews of this era, and that the Maccabean dynasty was 
the royal Jewish family of this era and was of the house of Aaron, it 
is probable that Zealots would have seen the Maccabees as the fam- 
ily from which the "Messiah of Aaron" would appear. If this theory 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 309 

is correct, then the messianic movement of first-century Judea 
developed as a reaction against Rome, which had ousted the Mac- 
cabees and replaced them with their puppets, the family of Herod. 
The struggle of first-century Judea was akin to many in Medieval 
Europe, in that it involved an ousted royal family seeking to return 
to power, a foreign government propping up an unpopular king, and 
a dispute over religion. 

Jewish Zealots, hoping to restore the Maccabean family, focused 
on those parts of their scripture that they believed prophesied God's 
sending a Messiah who would restore Israel to a sovereign Jewish 
state. The Book of Daniel, which does not specify which earthly fam- 
ily the Messiah was to come from, would have seemed especially apt 
because it foresees a "son of God" who helps to restore Israel after a 
series of tribulations. The Zealots applied these prophecies to the 
Maccabees. 

The Roman authors of War of the Jews, in order to transform the 
Maccabees from the messianic family of the Jews into the founding 
family of Christianity, created an "official" history, the War of the Jews, 
that contains an undifferentiated clump of individuals with Mac- 
cabean names. These individuals are described variously as robbers 
and false prophets. One of the purposes of War of the Jews, therefore, 
was to obscure the real history of the "five sons of Matthias." 

Then, the Gospels graft Jesus and his four brothers, named 
Judas, /Simon, Joseph and James, his father, named Joseph, and his 
mother, named Mary, as well as his disciples, named Simon, Judas, 
John, Eleazar, and Matthew onto the history of the Maccabean fam- 
ily. By creating so many characters with Maccabean names, the 
authors of the New Testament and War of the Jews sought to fool the 
uneducated into believing that Christianity had originated from 
within the Maccabean family. 

This symbolic grafting of Christianity onto the messianic tradi- 
tion of the Maccabees was mirrored by an effort to physically graft the 
Herodian family onto the Maccabees. 225 Herod married Mariamme, 
a direct descendant of Mattathias, the founder of the Maccabean 
dynasty. After she bore him four children, Herod executed her and 
her brother, thereby ensuring that only his Maccabean children 
would remain. 



310 Caesar's Messiah 

Throughout his works Josephus is very careful to avoid making 
any mention of the Messiah. He uses the word only twice, both times 
in conjunction with Jesus, and never explains exactly what the term 
means. Josephus mentions numerous messianic figures without ever 
referring to them as a Messiah or a Christ, calling them instead false 
prophets, robbers, or charlatans. For example, Josephus uses these 
pejorative secular terms with a character named Thuedas (c. 45 C.E.), 
no doubt the same Thuedas mentioned in the New Testament, who 
promised to lead his followers over dryshod like Joshua before Jericho. 
In other words, he claimed to be able to "part" the water like Moses. 
Clearly he was an individual operating within a religious framework 
and not simply, as Josephus describes him, a robber. 

Josephus is reworking history again, this time excluding from it 
the messianic aspirants who had led revolts against Rome during the 
first century C.E. He uses the name-switching trick to transform 
Messiahs into robbers. He is again making it difficult to trace the lin- 
eage of the real messianic family. The only messianic lineage remain- 
ing after 70 C.E., according to the New Testament and Josephus, is 
that of Jesus, who, after endorsing Rome, left the planet. 

Even when Josephus applies a messianic prophecy to Vespasian 
he does not refer to the prophet directly, but rather to the vision of 
some "ambiguous oracle." I would argue that Josephus' avoidance of 
the specific prophesies that predict the Messiah, as well as of the 
term itself, is an example of how he deliberately blurs the history of 
Judaism so that Christianity can, in the confusion, claim the history 
as its own. In this case he has blurred the identity and intent of the 
Maccabean messianic aspirants of this era, leaving only the Messiah 
of Christianity visible. 

With his description of the death of Eleazar, a descendant of 
Judas the Galilean, at Masada in 73 C.E., Josephus hoped not only 
to wipe from history the truth of the family that had stirred such 
opposition to Rome but actually to use its individuals and history as 
the "rock" upon which the new religion would be built. The trans- 
formation of Simon and John above is just part of a deception on a 
huge scale, encompassing not just the history of a family, but also of 
an entire religion, for more than a century. 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 311 

Christianity is the Sicarii movement of Judas the Galilean delib- 
erately blurred and transformed. The Romans transformed the his- 
tory of the cult of the militant Maccabean Messiah into the history 
of Christianity. 

Robert Eisenman has pointed out a number of overlaps between 
the Sicarii movement and Christianity during the second half of the 
first century C.E. Both were messianic movements, both were in 
Judea during the same period, and both have engaged in missionary 
activities. More important is Eisenman's claim that the word "Sicar- 
ios" itself may be a "quasi-anagram and a possible pejorative in 
Greek for the word "Christian." 226 If true, this wordplay creating 
"Christian" from "Sicarii" would fit perfectly into the pattern of cre- 
ating Christianity out of the Sicarii movement. 

Josephus describes numerous "Eleazars" in War of the Jews. I 
believe that attributes of these Eleazars, together with those of 
Lazarus in the New Testament, are intended to reveal the identity of 
the true Messiah. What is telling is that these Eleazars are so often 
described as the leaders of a messianic movement. Josephus begins 
this by stating that an Eleazar was responsible for the "true begin- 
ning" of the war. 

At the same time Eleazar, the son of Ananias the high 
priest, a very bold youth, who was at that time governor of 
the temple, persuaded those that officiated in the Divine 
service to receive no gift or sacrifice for any foreigner. And 
this was the true beginning of our war with the Romans; for 
they rejected the sacrifice of Caesar on this account . . . 22/ 

In the passage below notice that another Eleazar is described as 
the nephew of "Simon the tyrant," who I have identified as the 
Apostle Simon. This supports the contention that a messianic family 
led the Jewish rebellion and the identities of those family members 
were transformed into the Apostles and Jesus. 

Of the seditious, those that had fought bravely in the former 
battles did the like now, as besides them did Eleazar, the 
brother's son of Simon the tyrant. But when Titus perceived 
that his endeavors to spare a foreign temple turned to the 



312 Caesar's Messiah 

damage of his soldiers, and then be killed, he gave order to 
set the gates on fire. 228 

Josephus identifies a Simon and a Judas as the sons of "Jairus." 
An Eleazar is also identified as a member of this family, the Eleazar 
who is a "tyrant" at Masada and a descendant of Judas the Galilean, 
and is also identified as a relative of Simon the tyrant (the Apostle 
Simon) above. 

A few there were of them who privately escaped to Masada, 
among whom was Eleazar, the son of Jairus, who was of 
kin to Manahem, and acted the part of a tyrant at Masada 
afterward. 229 

This establishes the family of Jairus as part of the family of Judas 
the Galilean, the true messianic family, and connects the Apostles to 
the family of Judas the Galilean, which connects the Apostles to the 
family of Jairus that is found in the New Testament. 

The hopelessly cross-connected genealogy described above is 
deliberately difficult to follow. The overly complex genealogies in the 
New Testament and Josephus serve both to prevent the uneducated 
from understanding them as parodies of the Jews and to expand the 
general confusion over who the real members of the Maccabean 
family were — the confusion into which Christianity was inserted. 
While Josephus has purposely made the genealogies difficult to fol- 
low, they were constructed to reveal — to the alert reader — that the 
characters in the New Testament and War of the Jews are not only the 
same individuals but are all members of the same family. 

All the Eleazars in the works of Josephus and all the Lazaruses 
in the New Testament are lampoons of the real Eleazar, who was 
anointed as the Messiah by the Jewish rebels who defended Jeru- 
salem in 70 C.E. The Eleazar who is "a son of Jairus" and a "descen- 
dant of Judas the Galilean," and who was the leader of the Sicarii at 
Masada, is also part of this construct. Supporting this is the fact that 
in the New Testament the daughter of someone also called Jairus, 
the "ruler" of a synagogue, is, like Lazarus, "raised from the dead" 
by Jesus. In the passage below, notice that Jesus brings with him 
only Simon, John, and James. As noted above, this "Apostle" Simon 
is in fact the Jewish tyrant Simon, who is described in Josephus as 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 313 

both a son of Jairus and the brother of a John and a James. The 
reader should appreciate just how small a circle we are dealing with 
here. It is a small circle because it is a single family. 

Knowing that the Apostles Jesus brings with him to witness the 
"resurrection" of Jairus' daughter are her relatives helps us to under- 
stand the real meaning of the passage. It is a lampoon of a belief in 
the resurrection of the dead, a belief held by the followers of the 
messianic family. It is possible that this lampoon was based on a real 
incident, in which the Romans discovered members of the messianic 
family hidden in the subterranean caverns beneath Jerusalem and 
Titus "restored" a young woman to life. Notice that in the passage 
Jesus instructs that the girl be given "something to eat," good advice 
if the cause of the child's illness is starvation. 

The daughter is another unnamed New Testament character. I 
suspect that Josephus intends for the "informed reader" to be able to 
guess her name, however. Since "Eleazar" is the son of Jairus and his 
sisters are named Mary and Martha, this suggests that the "resur- 
rected" daughter of Jairus would have been yet another "Mary," that 
is to say, a rebellious female. 

Josephus and the New Testament created a running joke about 
the many "starving Marys" during the war. The reader will recall that 
Josephus describes how famine "pierced through Mary's very bowels" 
in the chapter on "The Son of Mary Whose Flesh Is Eaten" and that 
the "Mary" in the New Testament who is Jesus' mother was prophe- 
sied to one day be "pierced through." 

Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by 
name; and seeing him, he fell at his feet, 

and besought him, saying, "My little daughter is at the 
point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she 
may be made well, and live." 

And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and 
James and John the brother of James. 

And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you 
make a tumult and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." 

And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside, 
and took the child's father and mother and those who were 
with him, and went in where the child was. 



314 Caesar's Messiah 

Taking her by the hand he said to her, "Talitha cumi"; 
which means, "Little girl, I say to you, arise." 

And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was 
twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome 
with amazement. 

And he strictly charged them that no one should know 
this, and told them to give her something to eat. 

Mark 5:36-43 

The passage from Josephus that describes Eleazar's scourging 
and miraculous escape from crucifixion, which I analyzed previously, 
is followed immediately in War of the Jews by Josephus' description 
of the siege of Masada. In that story yet another Eleazar convinces 
the Sicarii defenders of Masada to commit suicide rather than risk 
being captured by the Romans. 

I regard Josephus' famous passage describing the mass suicide 
of the Jewish defenders as complete fiction. Josephus was not inter- 
ested in recording history but in creating effective propaganda. This 
is why, though there certainly were Sicarii who were besieged by the 
Romans at Masada, I do not believe that they slew themselves. I 
believe Josephus invented Eleazar's speech exhorting the Jews to kill 
themselves to instill in the Jews and hoi polloi the belief that suicide 
is noble when one is confronted with Roman force majure. "Noble" 
suicides of Jewish rebels run throughout the works of Josephus and 
it was hoped, no doubt, that they would counteract the courageous 
custom of the Jewish defenders, who fought down to the last man, 
and thus cost the imperial family more of its troops. Notice that, as 
with the crucifixion of Jesus and the destruction of the temple, it is 
the Jews, not the Romans, who are again "responsible" for the 
slaughter at Masada. 

It is likewise for symbolic purposes that Josephus places the 
final Eleazar, the descendant of Judas the Galilean, in the final act of 
the Roman conquest of the messianic movement. It makes the con- 
clusion of his fictitious history the completion of one era and the 
beginning of another — that is, the end of Maccabean Judaism and 
the beginning of Christianity. 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 315 

With the death of this final Eleazar, Josephus is bringing an end 
to the messianic family of Judas the Galilean and its messianic 
movement, the "fourth philosophy," or the Sicarii. 

. . . There was but one only strong hold that was still in 
rebellion. This fortress was called Masada. It was one 
Eleazar, a potent man, and the commander of these Sicarii, 
that had seized upon it. He was a descendant from that 
Judas who had persuaded abundance of the Jews, as we 
have formerly related, not to submit to the taxation when 
Cyrenius was sent into Judea to make one; 230 

Just as Eleazar's death brings an end to his family and their "phi- 
losophy," it also heralds the beginning of another family and another 
philosophy. Josephus concludes his description of the battle of Masada 
by claiming that, somehow, one group did survive the mass suicide. 

So these people died with this intention, that they would not 
leave so much as one soul among them all alive to be sub- 
ject to the Romans. Yet was there an ancient woman, and 
another who was of kin to Eleazar, and superior to most 
women in prudence and learning, with five children, who 
had concealed themselves in caverns under ground, and 
had carried water thither for their drink, and were hidden 
there when the rest were intent upon the slaughter of one 
another. 231 

As shown in the Building Jesus chapter, the date of the slaugh- 
ter at Masada, the fifteenth of Nisan 73 C.E., is meant to be under- 
stood as the ending of Christianity's forty years of wandering and 
thus the beginning of its dominion over the land of Israel and its 
replacement of Judaism. It is easy to see that within the symbolic 
landscape that Josephus has created the "five children" mentioned 
in the passage above, who are "kin to Eleazar," are to be understood 
as the founders of the Christian dynasty. 

Josephus, who had begun War of the Jews with the description 
of the beginning of a dynasty, the Maccabees — "Accordingly Mat- 
thias armed himself, together with his own family, which had five 



316 Caesar's Messiah 

sons . . ." 232 — ends his work with the beginning of another dynasty 
that starts with a woman who was kin to Eleazar and "five children." 
Their names are not given. I am confident, however, that within the 
Flavian court they would have been known as Mary, her son Jesus, 
and his four brothers. They are the new dynasty, ready to enter the 
Promised Land that has been given to them by "God." 

Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called 
Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joseph, and Simon, 
and Judas? 233 

Though Josephus symbolically converted the Maccabee family 
to Christianity at Masada, the Messianic rebellions centering on that 
family apparently continued until the defeat of Simon Bar Cochba in 
135 C.E. Bar Cochba means "son of the star." Simon was so nick- 
named because of the "star" prophecy of Judaism that looks to a 
Messiah, the same prophecy that the New Testament claims for Jesus. 
On the coins minted by the Jewish rebels during their 132-135 C.E. 
revolt, only two individuals are celebrated. One coin is dedicated to 
Bar Cochba and its inscription reads "Simeon, prince of Israel." The 
other individual so commemorated is Eleazar. His coin reads "Elea- 
zar the priest." 234 The coins present the same dichotomy that exists 
in the New Testament and War of the Jews — that is, between a mili- 
tary leader named Simon and a spiritual one named Eleazar. Rome's 
struggle with "Simon" and "Eleazar" evidently continued even after 
the family's "extinction" at Masada. 

Since Jesus' ministry lampoons the Jews by drawing darkly 
comic parallels with Titus' campaign through Judea, it seems logical 
that there would also be a lampoon of the twelve Apostles within 
War of the Jews. In this way the symmetry between the two works 
would be maintained. I assumed that the lampoon would involve a 
technique similar to the identity-switching used to transform the 
Jewish rebel leaders Simon and John into Christians. I discovered 
precisely such lampoons within Josephus' description of the assaults 
by the Romans on the temple of Jerusalem. Within the passages 
twelve Roman soldiers twice attempt to capture the wall that will 
lead to the temple. 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 317 

The passages that contain this complex lampoon begin with a 
speech by Titus calling for volunteers to assault the temple. One sol- 
dier named "Sabinius" accepts the challenge and in a manner much 
like the devotio of Decius Mus (Chapter 11), he volunteers to sacri- 
fice his life in the effort. 

Upon this speech of Titus, the rest of the multitude were 
affrighted at so great a danger. But there was one, whose 
name was Sabinus, a soldier that served among the 
cohorts, and a Syrian by birth, who appeared to be of very 
great fortitude, both in the actions he had done, and the 
courage of his soul he had shown . . . 

Sabinius was joined by eleven others and the twelve make their 
assault, which fails when Sabinius trips over a "large stone," remi- 
niscent of the large stone that entombed Jesus. Notice that Sabinius 
was possessed by a "divine" fury. 

There followed him eleven others, and no more, that re- 
solved to imitate his bravery; but still this was the principal 
person of them all, and went first, as excited by a divine fury. 
And now one cannot but complain here of fortune, as 
still envious at virtue, and always hindering the perform- 
ance of glorious achievements: this was the case of the 
man before us, when he had just obtained his purpose; for 
he then stumbled at a certain large stone, and fell down 
upon it headlong, with a very great noise. 235 

A second assault is made and again Josephus refers to the num- 
ber twelve, though this time he adds to it. 

Now two days afterward twelve of those men that were on 
the forefront, and kept watch upon the banks, got together, 
and called to them the standard-bearer of the fifth legion, 
and two others of a troop of horsemen, and one trumpeter; 
these went without noise, about the ninth hour of the night, 
through the ruins, to the tower of Antonia; and when they 
had cut the throats of the first guards of the place, as they 
were asleep, they got possession of the wall. . . 236 



3 1 8 Caesar's Messiah 

In my opinion, Josephus is using the temple as a symbol of 
Judaism and the attempt to force "twelve" into it is a comic descrip- 
tion of the insertion of the Apostles into the new Judaism. The point 
is that the temple will no longer be Jewish but Christian, once the 
"twelve" force their way in. In the following segment notice that get- 
ting into the temple would "begin" the Romans' entire conquest, a 
phrase reminiscent of "completing the calamities of the Jews" in the 
Son of Mary chapter. 

Then did the seditious of both the bodies of the Jewish 
army, as well that belonging to John as that belonging to 
Simon, drive them away; and indeed were no way wanting 
as to the highest degree of force and alacrity; for they 
esteemed themselves entirely ruined if once the Romans 
got into the temple, as did the Romans look upon the same 
thing as the beginning of their entire conquest. So a terri- 
ble battle was fought at the entrance of the temple, while 
the Romans were forcing their way, in order to get posses- 
sion of that temple . . . 237 

Josephus next makes reference to a confusion over the identity 
of the combatants, which takes place as this battle is fought at the 
temple door. The wordplay is quite interesting because it is, if this 
interpretation is correct, a spoof of the planned confusion of identi- 
ties used by the Romans to usher in Christianity. 

Now during this struggle the positions of the men were 
undistinguished on both sides, and they fought at random, 
the men being intermixed one with another, and con- 
founded, by reason of the narrowness of the place; while 
the noise that was made fell on the ear after an indistinct 
manner, because it was so very loud. Great slaughter was 
now made on both sides, and the combatants trod upon the 
bodies and the armor of those that were dead, and dashed 
them to pieces. Accordingly, to which side soever the battle 
inclined, those that had the advantage exhorted one 
another to go on, as did those that were beaten make great 
lamentation. But still there was no room for flight, nor for 
pursuit, but disorderly revolutions and retreats, while the 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 319 

armies were intermixed one with another; but those that 
were in the first ranks were under the necessity of killing or 
being killed, without any way for escaping; for those on both 
sides that came behind forced those before them to go on, 
without leaving any space between the armies. 238 

Josephus then lists those Jews who most "signalized" them- 
selves in the battle. 

Now those that most signalized themselves, and fought most 
zealously in this battle of the Jewish side, were one Alexas 
and Gyphtheus, of John's party, and of Simon's party were 
Malachias, and Judas the son of Merto, and James the son 
of Sosas, the commander of the Idumeans; and of the zealots, 
two brethren, Simon and Judas, the sons of Jairus. 239 

Another assault is made and again neither side can tell one from 
the other because the armies are intermixed. Confusion reigns, which 
did less harm to the Romans, who remembered their watchword. I 
believe that Josephus is again making a satirical point regarding the 
confusion of identities that enabled the Romans to create Christian 
Apostles out of Jewish rebels. 

... for the great confused noise that was made on both 
sides hindered them from distinguishing one another's 
voices, as did the darkness of the night hinder them from 
the like distinction by the sight, besides that blindness 
which arose otherwise also from the passion and the fear 
they were in at the same time; for which reason it was all 
one to the soldiers who it was they struck at. However, this 
ignorance did less harm to the Romans than to the Jews, 
because they were joined together under their shields, and 
made their sallies more regularly than the others did, and 
each of them remembered their watch-word; while the 
Jews were perpetually dispersed abroad, and made their 
attacks and retreats at random, and so did frequently seem 
to one another to be enemies; for every one of them 
received those of their own men that came back in the dark 
as Romans, and made an assault upon them; so that more 
of them were wounded by their own men than by the 



320 Caesar's Messiah 

enemy, till, upon the coming on of the day, the nature of the 
right was discerned by the eye afterward. 

This fight, which began at the ninth hour of the night, 
was not over till past the fifth hour of the day; and that, in 
the same place where the battle began, neither party could 
say they had made the other to retire; but both the armies 
left the victory almost in uncertainty between them; 
wherein those that signalized themselves on the Roman 
side were a great many, but on the Jewish side, and of 
those that were with Simon, Judas the son of Merto, and 
Simon the son of Josas; of the Idumeans, James and Simon, 
the latter of whom was the son of Cathlas, and James was 
the son of Sosas; of those that were with John, Gyphtheus 
and Alexas; and of the zealots, Simon the son of Jairus. 240 

My interpretation is that the entire sequence is a comic way of 
describing how the authors of the New Testament, acting as agents 
of Rome by the means of their false histories, the New Testament 
and the works of Josephus, transformed Jewish rebels into Christian 
Apostles. The first point I want to make is that the two confusing 
passages in which Josephus describes those who "signalized" them- 
selves are a puzzle. The reader who "solves" it will recognize that the 
lists describe the twelve individuals who were fighting to preserve 
the temple. 

In other words, when the two lists of Jews who "signalized" 
themselves are combined and the duplications are cancelled out, 
there are left four Simons, two Judases, John and James, as well as 
Alexas, Gyphtheus, Malachias, and Sosas. Eight have the names of 
Apostles and four do not, for a total list of twelve individuals. Readers 
may go through this confusing process for themselves if they wish. 
Take the first list: 

Alexas 

and Gyphtheus, of John's party, 

and of Simon's party were Malachias, and Judas the 
son of Merto, 

and James the son of Sosas, the commander of the 
Idumeans; 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 321 

and of the zealots, two brethren, Simon and Judas, the 
sons of Jairus. 

And add it to the second: 

of those that were with Simon, Judas the son of Merto, and 
Simon the son of Josas; 

of the Idumeans, James and Simon, the latter of whom 
was the son of Cathlas, and James was the son of Sosas; 

of those that were with John, Gyphtheus and Alexas; 
and 

of the zealots, Simon the son of Jairus. 

Removing the duplicates produces the following list of twelve 
individuals: 

Alexas 

Gyphtheus 

John the tyrant 

Simon the tyrant 

Malachias 

Judas the son of Merto 

James the son of Sosas 

Sosas the leader of the Idumeans 

Simon the son of Jairus 

Judas the son of Jairus 

Simon the son of Josas 

Simon son of Cathlas 

Josephus then records that there was another battle, during 
which the "twelve" again "signalize" themselves. He also mentions 
the courage of another individual, an Eleazar (Lazarus). As 1 have 
shown above, Eleazar was the Jewish Messiah for whom Jesus was 
switched in the New Testament. Josephus' "signalizing" of the 
"twelve" and an Eleazar obviously support this interpretation. Jose- 
phus is spoofing the real Messiah and his twelve disciples. 

Of the seditious, those that had fought bravely in the former 
battles did the like now, as besides them did Eleazar, the 
brother's son of Simon the tyrant. But when Titus perceived 



322 Caesar's Messiah 

that his endeavors to spare a foreign temple turned to the 
damage of his soldiers, he gave order to set the gates on 
fire. 241 

In order to "document" the switching of Christian Apostles for 
Jewish rebels Josephus then records another group of individuals. 
He presents the list of these individuals between the two lists nam- 
ing the twelve Jews who "signalized" themselves in battle. This new 
list names those Jews who deserted to the Romans in the midst of 
the battle. Notice that we have another "five sons of Matthias." 

... of whom were the high priests Joseph and Jesus, and 
of the sons of high priests three, whose father was Ishmael, 
who was beheaded in Cyrene, and four sons of Matthias, as 
also one son of the other Matthias . . . 242 

Joseph, Jesus, and Matthias are, of course, all names associated 
with Christianity. "Matthias" is not only the name of one of the 
authors of a Gospel (Matthew) but the name of the disciple who 
replaced Judas as one of the twelve Apostles. In addition to these 
three, Josephus' lists include five sons of Matthias, a Joseph, and a 
Jesus. The "five sons of Matthias" are meant to be understood as the 
five sons of the founder of the Maccabean dynasty — that is, Judas, 
Simon, John, Eleazar (Lazarus), and Jonathan. Of course, as Jose- 
phus relates it, these "five sons of Matthias" are quite different from 
the original "five sons of Matthias" in that they have defected to 
Caesar. However, the point of the joke Josephus is making here is 
that these five sons of Matthias have the same names as the original 
five sons of Matthias. 

Thus, the "five sons of Matthias" who deserted to the Romans 
and the twelve "signalized" Jewish rebels contain names that overlap. 
The overlapping names are those of both Apostles and the sons of 
Matthias Maccabee — Judas, Simon, John, and Eleazar. The list of 
those who deserted to the Roman side also contain both a Jesus and 
a Joseph, which are both names from Christianity. The Jewish side 
also contains a Malachias, a point I shall explore below. 

My interpretation of the passage is that during the confusion of 
battle the Jews who "signalized" themselves and who had the same 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 323 

names are transformed into the sons of Matthias who desert to the 
Romans. Just as Jesus had been transformed into Titus, the leaders 
of the Jewish rebellion are turned into twelve turncoats. It's another 
example of the "name-switching" technique that was used to create 
the Apostles Simon and John. The complex confusion about identity 
is a spoof on how the Romans created the Apostles and inserted 
them into the temple (Judaism) by transforming the history of the 
Maccabees into the "history" of Christianity. 

... for the great confused noise that was made on both 
sides hindered them from distinguishing one another's 
voices, as did the darkness of the night hinder them from 
the like distinction by the sight. . . However, this ignorance 
did less harm to the Romans than to the Jews, because . . 
each of them remembered their watch-word; while the 
Jews . . . frequently seem to one another to be enemies; for 
every one of them received those of their own men that 
came back in the dark as Roman . . . 243 

This interpretation is strengthened by Josephus' inclusion of a 
Malachias as one of the twelve Jews who "signalized" themselves. 
The name Malachi is Hebrew for "my messenger" and was a syn- 
onym for the prophet Elijah. This meaning comes from the Book of 
Elijah, in which God states, "Behold, I send my messenger (Malachi) 
who shall prepare the way before me." Elijah (Malachi) was believed 
by the messianic Jews rif the first century C.E. to be about to return 
to earth as a forerunner of the Messiah. 244 

The authors of the New Testament created John the Baptist to 
be Christianity's Elijah, that is, the messenger who heralded the 
Messiah's "coming." 

"Why then do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 

Jesus answered and said to them, "Indeed, Elijah is coming 
first" 

Matt. 17:11 



Like Elijah, John is said to have worn a leather girdle and a 
"cloak of hair." 245 Like Elijah, John also lived by the banks of the 
Jordan near Jericho. 246 The last of the Books of the Prophets is the 



324 Caesar's Messiah 

Book of Malachi. As scholars have long recognized, the authors of 
the Gospels used that book, with its apocalyptic sayings of a mes- 
sianic forerunner, as the basis for John the Baptist's descriptions of a 
Day of Judgment. 

In the Book of Malachi it states, 

Behold the day cometh, burning like a furnace and all the 
proud and they that do wickedly are stubble and the day 
shall cometh that shall set them aflame, and the Lord of 
Hosts, and shall not leave them root and branch. 247 

The author of the Gospel of Matthew makes John the Baptist 
paraphrase Malachi: 

The axe is already laid to the root of the tree and every tree 
that bringeth not forth fruit is hewn and cast into the midst 
of the fire . . . and his fan is in his hand and he shall winnow 
his threshing-floor and gather wheat into his garner and 
the chaff he shall burn with unquenchable fire. 248 

However, John adds his own political perspective to Malachi, 
warning those who believe they have nothing to fear from the Day 
of Judgment because they are the "children of Abraham, Isaac, and 
Jacob" — that is, the Jews — should be aware that their "Jewishness" 
does not make them safe. John states (with a play on words) "God 
is able from these stones (abanim) to raise up children (banim) unto 
Abraham." John the Baptist thus shares with Jesus a "vision" of a 
coming apocalypse for the Jews. From my perspective, however, the 
more important point is that John is saying that "God" can create 
"Jews" at will, the same idea that Josephus is relating with the story 
of the battle of the temple, during which "the positions of the men 
were undistinguished on both sides, and they fought at random, the 
men being intermixed one with another." Abanim and banim con- 
tinues the wordplay regarding "son" and "stone" — that is, ben and 
eben — that exists in the New Testament and War of the Jews. 

John the Baptist also paraphrases the Book of Malachi when he 
states that though he (John) baptizes with water there is one "com- 
ing" who is mightier and will baptize with fire. 



The Apostles and the Maccabees 325 

And who may abide the day of his coming? And who can 
stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner's fire. 249 

This prophecy, once again, when taken literally, came to pass in 
a manner that would be humorous to the residents of the Flavian 
court. That is, Titus did indeed "baptize" with fire. 

They ... set fire to the houses whither the Jews had fled 
and burnt every soul in them. 250 

Malachias (My Messenger) in Josephus' list of "signalized" Jews 
must be understood, like Elijah or John the Baptist, as the forerun- 
ner of a Messiah. Since a "Jesus" is also a character in the passage, 
the identity of the Messiah he is coming before seems obvious. The 
logic of the lampoon suggests that the "Jesus" on the Roman list 
switches himself with his "forerunner" at the same time that his 
"Apostles" switch themselves with their Jewish namesakes. 

My analysis suggests that the Maccabees were inserted into 
Christianity in the first century C.E. They were also somehow 
extracted from Judaism at the same time. One needs to look into the 
Book of the Maccabees to read of its origin. 

Since the Romans inserted the Maccabees in Christianity, it is at 
least logical to wonder if they also removed them from Judaism, 
which was being reestablished at about the same time. As Eisenman 
points out in James the Brother of Jesus, Rabbi Yohanan ben Zacchai 
is described in the Talmud as having worked to reestablish a form of 
Judaism after the 70 C.E. holocaust. He worked at an academy at 
Yavneh, established with the authorization of Rome. He is also 
claimed to have applied the Star prophecy, the Messiah or world- 
ruler prophecy, to Vespasian exactly as Josephus had done. These 
facts provide a basis for speculation about the extent to which Rome 
was also involved in the creation of Rabbinical Judaism. 



CHAPTER 16 



The Samaritan Woman and Other Parallels 



The Gospel of John records an episode that does not appear in the 
other Gospels, the meeting with a Samaritan woman by a well. This 
account is a satire of yet another Roman battle recorded in War of the 
Jews. Though this battle took place before Titus began his campaign 
at the Sea of Galilee, the authors of the Gospels wished to make a 
comment about it. They therefore needed — in order to keep Jesus' 
ministry and Titus' campaign sequential — to identify it as having 
occurred before Jesus' ministry began. They achieved this by having 
Jesus note that "my hour has not yet come" (John 7:6). In other 
words, that the event took place before Jesus had officially started 
his ministry in Judea. 

At Mount Gerizzim the Gospel of John provides an account in 
which Jesus describes himself as "living water." As I have stated, 
Jesus' self-designations are all darkly comic when juxtaposed with 
events from the war with Rome that occurred at the same location. 

Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." For his disciples had 
gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman 
said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a 
woman of Samaria?" For Jews have no dealings with Samar- 
itans. Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and 
who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink," you would 
have asked him, and he would have given you living water." 
The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw 
with, and the well is deep; where do you get that living water? 
Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, 
and drank from it himself, and his sons, and his cattle?'" 



326 



The Samaritan Woman and Other Parallels 327 

Jesus said to her, "Every one who drinks of this water 
will thirst again. 

But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him 
will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become 
in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." 

The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, that I 
may not thirst, nor come here to draw." 

Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come 
here." 

"I have no husband," she replied. 

"You rightly say that you have no husband," said Jesus; 
"for you have had five husbands, and the man you have at 
present is not your husband. You have spoken the truth in 
saying that." 

"Sir," replied the woman, "I see that you are a Prophet. 
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain; and you say that in 
Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." 

Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is 
coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem 
will you worship the Father." 251 

The New Testament symbolism that established Jesus as "living 
bread" was based on the famine that resulted from the siege of 
Jerusalem. The following passage from Josephus is the basis for the 
irony inherent in Jesus referring to himself as "living water." 

Nor did the Samaritans escape their share of misfortunes 
at this time; for they assembled themselves together upon 
the mountain called Gerizzim, which is with them a holy 
mountain, and there they remained;... Vespasian therefore 
thought it best to prevent their motions, and to cut off the 
foundation of their attempts . . . Now it happened that the 
Samaritans, who were now destitute of water, were inflamed 
with a violent heat (for it was summer time, and the multi- 
tude had not provided themselves with necessaries) inso- 
much that some of them died that very day with heat. 252 

The passage above from Josephus contains the only mention of 
Mount Gerizzim in War of the Jews. The only mention of Mount Ger- 



328 Caesar's Messiah 

izzim in the New Testament is in the passage I quoted where Jesus 
meets the Samaritan women. It is also the only time Jesus refers to 
himself as "living water." Because in the same passage Jesus foresees 
the dual destruction of Jerusalem and Gerizzim, a singular event in 
history, we can be sure of the linkage between this prophecy and the 
coming war with Rome. In other words, when Jesus says "the time 
is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you 
worship the father . . ." he is clearly referring to the "time" of their 
mutual destruction. The only time when both cities were simulta- 
neously destroyed was during the war with Rome. Therefore, we are 
logically on solid ground to understand that Jesus' vision on Mount 
Gerizzim is related to the coming war with Rome. 

If we accept the premise that Jesus' prophecies regarding Ger- 
izzim and Jerusalem are related to their coming destruction in the war 
with Rome, his claim to be "living water" for the inhabitants of Ger- 
izzim can be understood as foreseeing their lack of water during the 
Roman siege. Such a self-designation by Jesus, in this context, may 
seem innocent enough. However, if we accept that Jesus' description 
of himself as "living water" is related to the Samaritans dying of 
thirst on Mount Gerizzim, this verifies my premise regarding Jesus' 
claim to be "living bread" — that is, that it relates to the practice of 
cannibalism during the siege of Jerusalem. 

Consider how someone living in the Flavian court in 80 C.E. 
would have reacted to Jesus choosing Mount Gerizzim as the place 
to describe himself as "living water." Clearly, such an individual, 
knowing that the Jewish rebels died of thirst on Mount Gerizzim, 
would have found Jesus' self-designation "living water" on Gerizzim 
darkely humorous. 

In fact, it is self-evident that members of the Flavian court would 
have seen all of Christ's self-designations — "fisher of men," "living 
bread," "living water," "the stone," and "the temple" as ironic because 
of the locations where he used them. It is unlikely that such a par- 
ticular brand of humor would occur constantly by chance — and the 
fact that it does occur consistently supports the contention that the 
gospels were created to be understood, on one level, as a mockery of 
the Jews that specifically relates to Roman military victories in Judea. 



The Samaritan Woman and Other Parallels 329 

I now want to broaden my analysis here and present a number 
of other parallels that I am not going to analyze in any detail. Some 
of these are as telling about the true relationship between Josephus 
and the New Testament as any shown in this work. Others are sim- 
ply informational in nature. What these New Testament individuals 
and events share is that their only other historical documentation 
comes from Josephus. 

When one reads about early Christianity or first-century C.E. 
Judea, both the social background and the dating of events are derived 
solely from Josephus. Since the New Testament and the works of 
Josephus cover the same areas and time frames, there is nothing 
unusual in the fact that events and characters appear in both works. 

However, if it can be shown that Josephus had a keen awareness 
of Christianity, this has implications. Much of the comedy that the 
two works create is virtually self-evident. To demonstrate that Jose- 
phus was lampooning Christianity in the passage regarding the son 
of Mary whose flesh was eaten, for example, it is only necessary to 
prove that Josephus was aware of Christianity as he wrote the story 

During the time that Josephus was writing War of the Jews and 
Jewish Antiquities, the Flavian family was clearly involved with 
Christianity. This suggests that Josephus, both a historian and a the- 
ologian, would have been familiar with the religion and its symbols. 
In fact, the total overlap of individuals and events in the New Testa- 
ment and the works of Josephus indicates that he must have known 
a great deal about Christianity. 

The following is a list of individuals, groups, and events men- 
tioned by both Josephus and the Gospels or the Book of Acts: 

Simon the magician 

The Egyptian false prophet 

Ananias the high priest 

Felix the procurator, and his wife Drusilla 

Festus the procurator 

Agrippa II and Berenice 

The Widow's sacrifice of a mite 

King Herod 

The slaughter of the innocents 



330 Caesar's Messiah 

Archelaus 

The census of Quirinius 

The fifteenth year of Tiberius 

John the Baptist 

Pharisees 

Sadducees 

James the Brother of Jesus 

Judas the Galilean 

The famine under Claudius 

The Death of Herod Agrippa I 

Jesus 

In addition to these overlapping characters and events, the works 
share a number of conceptual parallels other than those I have pre- 
viously presented. I want to briefly discuss some of these. The first 
actually predates Jesus' ministry and Titus' campaign. It consists of 
the parallel "slaughter of the innocents" that occurs in both the New 
Testament and Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews. 

Though other scholars have noticed this parallel, I am not aware 
of anyone else having seen the unusual temporal correspondence 
between the two passages. The passages in the New Testament and 
Josephus dealing with the slaughter of innocents occur at the same 
time. Since both tales involve Herod this may seem unimportant, 
since both passages appear simply to reflect the same event. How- 
ever, when this parallel is viewed in the context of the other New 
Testament/Josephus parallels, its real significance becomes clear. 

From the New Testament: 

. . . wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, 
"Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For 
we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him 
homage." When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, 
and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the 
chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them 
where the Messiah was to be born. They told him, "In the 
Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet. . ." 
. . . When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the 
wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent for and killed all 



The Samaritan Woman and Other Parallels 331 

the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years 
old or under, according to the time that he had learned 
from the wise men. 

Matt. 2:2-16 

Josephus records a parallel event. 

Now there was a certain sect of Jews who valued themselves 
highly for the skill they had in the ways of their fathers and 
who believed they best observed the laws favored by God — 
the sect called the Pharisees — by whom the women of the 
palace were guided. They were fully able to deal success- 
fully with the king due to their prescience, but often fell into 
fighting and setting up obstacles to him. 

For example, when all the Jewish people pledged their 
loyalty to Caesar and to the king's government, these men, 
over six thousand of them, refused to swear; and when the 
king therefore imposed a fine on them, the wife of Pheroras 
[the king's brother] paid it. Now to repay this kindness of 
hers, being believed to have, by Divine inspiration, the fore- 
knowledge of things to come, they foretold that God had 
decreed that Herod's government would be taken from him 
and from his descendants, and that the kingdom would 
come to her and Pheroras and to their children. 

These predictions, which did not escape detection by 
Salome [the king's sister], were reported to the king, and 
also that they had subverted some others of the palace. So 
the king killed those of the Pharisees principally involved, 
as well as Bagoas the eunuch, and a certain Karos, who 
exceeded all of his peers in beauty and was his favorite boy. 
He also killed everyone of his own house who had allied 
themselves to the talk of the Pharisees. Bagoas had been 
elated by their prediction that he would be hailed as the 
father and the benefactor of the one who would be their 
appointed king; for to this king would fall power over all 
things, and he would provide Bagoas with a marriage and 
the ability to sire children of his own line. 253 



332 Caesar's Messiah 

The passage above from Josephus has clear parallels to the 
nativity story given in Luke and Matthew. Notice that in each we 
have wise men, who have the gift of prophecy, predicting that "the 
king who was to come" will end Herod's reign. Herod's reaction in 
both is to "slaughter the innocents." Josephus describes the new 
king as someone who will have "the power over all things." It is 
more important, however, that both stories involve a miraculous 
birth by someone normally assumed to be incapable of having chil- 
dren — in the New Testament it is a virgin, in Josephus a eunuch. 

This parallel between the Virgin Mary and the eunuch Bagoas is 
the beginning of parallel sequences of events in the New Testament 
and War of the Jews. The authors switch a eunuch for a virgin to cre- 
ate a parallel "miraculous birth." The story of Bagoas reveals the 
mindset of the authors of the New Testament in that it shows the 
contempt they had for those who believed in fables about virgin 
births. 

What is interesting about the parallel above is that both stories 
plainly use the same historical context, an incident in which Herod 
seeks to kill an infant who threatens his power. Thus, as a spoof of 
the New Testament, the passage in Josephus is completely transpar- 
ent because it uses the same "historical" context as the New Testa- 
ment. 

Another interesting point is that this lampoon would indicate 
that the authors of the New Testament were indeed trying to create 
the impression that Mary was a "virgin," that is, someone incapable 
of giving birth, a matter of some contention among scholars. 



Conclusion 



The thorough analysis I've undertaken in this work strongly sup- 
ports the premise that, sometime after the war between the Romans 
and the Jews, Christianity was created by intellectuals working for 
the Flavian emperors. They created the religion to serve as a theo- 
logical barrier to prevent messianic Judaism from again erupting 
against the empire. I have also presented an analysis showing that 
the story of Jesus' ministry told in the Gospels was constructed as a 
"prophetic" satire of Titus Flavius' military campaign through Judea. 
This satire cleverly used typological parallels to show that Titus was 
the real "Christ" that Christians have unwittingly been worshipping. 
Though unseen for 2,000 years, the path to understanding the 
real meaning of the Gospels is a clear one. The first step is simply 
recognizing that Jesus was created as a typological figure. This is 
established at the beginning of the Gospels, in Matthew, where the 
life of Moses, the first savior of Israel, was used as a type for Jesus, 
the second savior of Israel. 

OLD TESTAMENT 

Gen. 45-50 Joseph takes old Israel 

down to Egypt 

Ex. 1 Pharaoh massacres boys 

Ex. 4 "All the men are dead ..." 

Ex. 12 From Egypt to Israel 

Ex. 14 Passing through water (baptism)3:13 

Ex. 16 Tempted by bread 

Ex. 17 Do not tempt God 

Ex. 32 Worship only God 

333 



MATTHEW 


2:13 


Joseph brings new Israel 




down to Egypt 


2:16 


Herod massacres boys 


2:20 


"They are dead ..." 


2:21 


From Egypt to Israel 


:13 


Baptism 


4:4 


Tempted by bread 


4:7 


Do not tempt God 


4:10 


Worship only God 



334 Caesar's Messiah 

The use of typological parallels to link Jesus to Moses was 
designed to create the impression that prior Judaic literature had 
"foreseen" the life of Jesus. However, the fact that the authors of the 
Gospels created Jesus as a typological character strongly supports 
the thesis that the linkage I show in this work between Jesus and 
Titus was also created deliberately. Let us suppose that a criminal is 
known to commit his crimes with a very unusual weapon — say, a 
bowling ball. A crime scene where the victim is crushed by a bowl- 
ing ball would strongly suggest the same perpetrator. The same kind 
of evidence weighs against the authors of the Gospels. It is implau- 
sible that one of the few groups that ever knowingly used typology 
would have also created the only accidentally typological relation- 
ships in all of literature. 

Even if Jesus were not an obvious typological character, the rela- 
tionship between his ministry and Titus' campaign would, in and of 
itself, prove that one was based on the other. The parallels between 
the ministry and the campaign of the two "sons of God" do not 
merely occur in the same locations, but in the same sequence. This 
is the clearest proof that Titus left for us — proof he left so we would 
see that he had succeeded in his efforts to make the Jews call him 
"Lord," proof he left that he had become the Christ that Christian- 
ity would worship for thousands of years. 

To see the relationship between Jesus and Titus, all that is needed 
is to view Jesus' ministry as it relates to the war between the Romans 
and the Jews. Though this perspective has been overlooked by his- 
torians, it is one that should be studied for several reasons. First, 
because Jesus stated that all his prophecies would be fulfilled before 
the "wicked generation" of Jews passed away. To Jews of this era a 
generation was forty years in length, and Titus' war against the mes- 
sianic Jews came to an end, "miraculously," forty years to the day 
after Jesus' resurrection. Therefore, the Gospels should be read in 
the context of the war — this was literally the instruction that Jesus 
gave us. Further, the victors write history. Since the Flavians were 
the victors in their war with the messianic movement in Judea, all 
the histories relating to that era, including the Gospels, should be 
scrutinized to determine if the Flavians produced them. Once the 
Gospels are viewed from the perspective of a member of the Flavian 



Conclusion 335 

inner circle, the relationship between Jesus and Titus becomes vir- 
tually self-evident. 

The Parallels 

The relationship between Jesus and Titus begins on Mount Ger- 
izzim, where Jesus calls himself "living water" on the same spot 
where Jews would later die of thirst during the war. Because Titus 
has not received control over the army when that battle occurs, the 
authors of the Gospels have Jesus announce that "my time has not 
yet come" — in other words, that his ministry had not yet begun — to 
maintain the parallelism between his ministry and Titus' campaign. 

Jesus then begins his ministry at the Sea of Galilee, where he 
gathers in his disciples, who he calls "fishers of men." Titus also has 
the "onset" of his campaign at the same location, where his "disci- 
ples" become "fishers of men" by spearing Jews as they attempt to 
swim for safety after the Romans sink their boats. 

Jesus next encounters a possessed man at Gadara who unleashes 
a "legion" of demons that possess a herd of swine and rush wildly 
into the Jordan river. Titus has a strangely parallel experience at 
Gadara, where one "demonically possessed" man unleashed a legion 
of "demons" — that is, the Sicarii — who infect a herd of "swine" — 
that is, Jewish youth. The combined group is then chased by the 
Romans and rushes "like the wildest of beasts" into the Jordan river. 

Following the Gadara encounter, the "son of Mary" travels to 
Jerusalem where he informs his disciples that they will one day "eat 
of his flesh." This prophecy comes to pass when a "son of Mary" is 
eaten by his mother during Titus' siege of Jerusalem. 

The Gospels next describe two assaults on the Mount of Olives, 
one in which a naked man escapes and another in which the Mes- 
siah is captured. These episodes parallel events on the Mount of 
Olives during Titus' siege of Jerusalem, where a "naked" man — 
Titus — escapes, and a Messiah is captured. 

The pair of Mount of Olives assaults is followed in both the 
Gospels and Titus' campaign by a description of three crucified men, 
one of whom miraculously survives. In each version, an individual 
named "Joseph of Arimathea" (Joseph Bar Matthias) takes the sur- 
vivor down from the cross. 



336 Caesar's Messiah 

Jesus concludes his ministry by predicting that Simon will be 
taken to Rome and martyred, but that John will be spared. At the 
conclusion of Titus' campaign, the rebel leaders Simon and John are 
captured. Simon is taken to Rome and martyred, but John is spared 
and given life imprisonment. 

Each one of these parallels is unusual enough to raise the ques- 
tion of whether it was created intentionally. The fact that the paral- 
lels occur in the same order lays the matter to rest, because such a 
sequence could not occur accidently Further, Titus was the only 
individual, other than Jesus, who could have been the "Son of Man" 
foreseen in the Gospels. Titus was the only individual in history who 
encircled Jerusalem with a wall and demolished its temple. The fact 
that the campaign of this unique individual parallels Christ's min- 
istry confirms the proposition that the two were deliberately linked, 
since such a combination of historical singularities could not have 
occurred circumstantially. 

The Daniel-Moses Combination 

This work has shown that, without question, Josephus manipulated 
the dates of events to create the impression that the prophecies of 
Daniel were coming to pass in the first century C.E. In doing so, 
Josephus, accidentally or otherwise, provided a fictitious historical 
context for Jesus, who claimed to be the Messiah that Daniel had 
envisioned. 

The authors of the Gospels also inserted numerous parallels 
with the life of Moses into their story of Jesus so as to make it appear 
that he was, like Moses, the founder of a new, divinely inspired reli- 
gion. Josephus linked his history to this theme by recording that the 
war with the Jews came to an end forty years to the day after Jesus' 
resurrection. In doing so, he created the impression that Christianity 
had mirrored Judaism's forty years of wandering following the orig- 
inal Passover. Only by concluding the war on that date, the fifteenth 
of Nisan, 73 C.E., could Josephus have simultaneously "fulfilled" both 
the seven-year cycle of tribulation envisioned by Daniel — the pre- 
cise length of the war — and completed Christianity's mirroring of the 
events following the original Passover. The dual linkage between the 
Gospels and War of the Jews proves that the parallels were created 



Conclusion 337 

deliberately because two separate authors could not have recorded 
such a combination of precise prophecies and dates by chance. 

The Puzzle of the Empty Tomb 

My reading of the combined story of Jesus' resurrection is perhaps 
the clearest proof of the Flavian origin of Christianity. This is be- 
cause the story was designed to be a way of proving beyond a doubt 
that creating the Gospels as satire was the real intent of its authors. 
This proof also has the advantage of being, if incorrect, so easy to 
disprove. Experts in probability can either confirm or deny the con- 
clusions in this work and the truth will out. 

This work was in no way created as a criticism of the faith of 
contemporary Christians. I felt required to present my findings 
because of the light they shed on the origin and purpose of both 
anti-Semitism and the moral structure of Western societies. 

I realize that some will find the conclusions of this work disori- 
enting. Symbols long thought to have been based on Christian love 
may really be images of Roman conquest. Even the belief that our 
culture is Judeo-Christian may be incorrect, in that it may have been 
completely shaped by Roman "religious" influence. Most unnerving 
to me is this question: What would Western civilization be like if, 
instead of emerging from the Christian tradition, it had emerged 
from a culture that worshiped strength and scorned weakness? 

It is also hard to accept that so many have missed the obvious 
clues left by the creators of Christianity to inform us of the true ori- 
gin of the religion. While many of the puzzles are difficult to see and 
solve, it is simply amazing that no one has noticed heretofore that 
Titus' campaign had a conceptual outline parallel to Jesus' ministry. 
This is not a difficult thing to see and should have been common 
knowledge centuries earlier. Homo sapiens failed to earn its title in 
this instance. 

Though Christianity may have begun as a cruel joke, it has 
become the basis for much of humankind's moral progress. I present 
this work with great ambivalence, but truth is a whole, and no part 
should be hidden. During the turmoil that is about to descend, we 
should all remember the words of Jesus: "And you shall know the 
truth, and the truth shall set you free." 



Appendix 



A Reader's Guide to the Names and Terms 
in Caesar's Messiah 

ACILIUS GLABRIO Consul at Rome in 91 C.E., he was ban- 
ished then executed by Domitian in 95 CE. as a "contriver of nov- 
elty." Traditionally he is supposed to have been executed for being a 
Christian. 

ACHILLEUS Legendary chamberlain of Flavia Domitilla. He 
appears in the sixth-century CE. work Acts of Saints Nereus and 
Achilleus. 

AGRIPPA II Born in 27 C.E., son of Agrippa I, king of Judea, 
and grandson of Herod the Great. As governor over the tetrarchy of 
Philip and Lysanias, he supported Vespasian during the Jewish War, 
sending 2,000 men. 

BARABBAS A character in the Gospels who acts as a foil for 
Jesus and is released instead of him. The name is a composite of the 
Hebrew bar (son) and abba (father), meaning "son of the Father." In 
some early manuscripts his name is given as Jesus Barabbas. 

BAR COCHBA Leader of the revolt against Rome in 131 CE. 
His name in Hebrew means "son of the star," referring to the "star 
prophecy." 

BERNICE Born in 28 C.E., she was the daughter of Agrippa I 
(died 44 C.E.), king of Judea, the grandson of Herod the Great. She 
married Marcus, brother of Tiberius Alexander, and then became 
mistress to Titus. She can be identified through a logic puzzle as one 
of those who initiated the idea of creating the Gospels. Her sister 



338 



Appendix 339 

Drusilla, believed to be the most beautiful woman in the world, mar- 
ried Antonius Felix, Roman procurator of Judea (52-60 C.E). 

BRUNO BAUER German philosopher, historian, and theolo- 
gian (1809-1882). He realized that the Gospels had been written as 
Roman propaganda utilizing Stoic and Hellenistic ideas, and had not 
been derived directly from Judaism. He thought that the first Gospel 
had been written under Hadrian (117-138 C.E.). See Christ and the 
Caesars (1879). 

CATULLUS A character in War of the Jews who dies when his 
guts burst. Judas, Catullus' counterpart in the Book of Acts, dies 
when his guts burst. The parallel is set up to create a logical puzzle 
which, when solved, reveals the names of the writers of the Gospels. 

CLEMENT Or Clemens, Pope Clement I, traditionally cred- 
ited with the authorship of the noncanonical Epistle of Clement to 
the Corinthians c. 96 C.E. He used to be identified with Consul 
Titus Flavius Clemens who was executed by Domitian in 95 C.E. 

CYPRIAN Christian bishop and orator, born c. 240 C.E. 

DANIEL Prophetic book of the Hebrew Scriptures written 
around 600 B.C.E., containing prophecies about the coming of a 
Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem 

DECIUS MUNDUS A character in the passage that surrounds 
the famous Testimonium passage in Jewish Antiquities, which sup- 
posedly confirms the historicity of Jesus. The name is a pun on 
Decius Mus (mouse), a Roman military hero who sacrificed himself 
to save Rome. 

DOMITIAN Titus Flavius Domitianus (51-96 C.E.). The 
younger son of Vespasian who, at Domitian's birth, was an army 
general. Domitian succeeded his father and elder brother Titus as 
the third Flavian emperor (81-96 C.E.). His rule is associated with 
a literary revival and major building program in Rome. Historians 
present him as an efficient but cruel and corrupt despot. 

ELEAZAR Maccabean Hebrew name that means "whom God 
aids." It is translated in Greek as "Lazarus." Eleazar was a member 
of the messianic dynasty that was captured by the Romans during 
the siege of Jerusalem; he was threatened with crucifixion and had 
his limbs "pruned." He was then given back to his relatives — and 
after he died from his injuries they ate him. His torture and death are 



340 Caesar's Messiah 

satirized when the figure of the cannibal Mary eats her son as a sym- 
bolic Passover lamb, and when the figure of Lazarus in the Gospels 
is raised from the tomb, whereupon Mary "makes him a supper." 

EPICTETUS Stoic philosopher and slave to Epaphroditus, sec- 
retary to Nero and Domitian. Some of his attitudes were reflected in 
the Gospels. 

EUSEBIUS Bishop of Caesarea around 330 C.E. and author of 
a History of the Church and an apologetic life of the Emperor Con- 
stantine. 

FELIX Antonius Felix, corrupt Roman procurator of Judea 
(52-60 C.E.) and husband to Drusilla, sister of Bernice. 

FLA VIA DOMITILLA Granddaughter of Vespasian, niece of 
Titus. She married Clemens. She provided the land for the earliest 
Christian catacombs in Rome. To be distinguished from the Domit- 
illa who was sister of Titus and Domitian. 

FLAVIANS The family name for the dynasty of emperors 
founded by Vespasian. 

HEGESIPPUS A second-century Christian writer of a book of 
memoirs directed against the Gnostics. His work is known from the 
passages incorporated in the writings of Eusebius. 

HEROD THE GREAT King of Judea (73-4 B.C.E.). From an 
Idumaean (not Jewish) family he became governor of Galilee at the 
age of twenty-five and later fled to Rome, where Mark Anthony 
appointed him the puppet king of Judea in absentia. Caesar Augus- 
tus eventually confirmed the title and with Roman support he was 
installed as a client king in Jerusalem. He co-opted the Maccabean 
dynasty by marrying one of their women, Mariamme, by whom he 
had five children before he had her executed. 

HIPPOLYTUS Heretical Christian teacher and bishop born 
c. 150 C.E. 

HONI Known in Greek as Onias, Honi the Rainmaker, (died 
65 B.C.E.) is traditionally identified as a Galilean holy man, and was 
one of the models upon which the character of Jesus was based. 

IRENAEUS Christian theologian born c. 130 C.E. Best known 
for his writings against Gnosticism. 

JEROME Christian saint and writer on the Bible, born about 
340 C.E. 



Appendix 341 

JESUS The name of a character portrayed in the Gospels. The 
name is a Greek homophone for the Hebrew word yeshu'a, which 
can mean either "God saves" or "Savior." 

JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA A character in the Gospels, he takes 
the body of Jesus down from the cross. In the Gospel of Barnabas his 
name is given as Joseph of Barimathea. No such town as Arimathea 
existed. The name is a pun on Josephus bar Matthias. 

JOSEPHUS Originally Josephus bar Mattathias (37-100 C.E.), 
he took the name Flavius Josephus on being adopted into the Impe- 
rial Flavian family. He claimed to originally have been a general in 
Galilee who recognized that the traditional Hebrew prophecy about 
the new world ruler applied to Vespasian. He abandoned the Jews and 
sided with the Romans. He was given an apartment in the emperor's 
own townhouse and wrote the authorized history War of the Jews, 
which was criticized by contemporaries for fictionalizing history 
and containing scholastic puzzles. The Romans erected a statue in 
his honor. 

JUDAS ISCARIOT A character in the Gospel who betrays Jesus 
to the Romans and dies when his gut bursts. His last name may be 
an anagram, indicating that he represents not merely the Maccabean 
Judas the Galilean, but specifically the Sicarii movement. See Catullus. 

JUDAS THE GALILEAN A Maccabean Zealot. He was a leader 
of a revolt against the Romans around 6 C.E. over a proposed census. 
His sons Jacob and Simon were crucified by the Romans, and another 
son, Menahem, became leader of the Sicarii movement — which sup- 
posedly assassinated its opponents with the daggers after which 
their movement was named. 

JUSTIN MARTYR Christian theologian born about 100 C.E. 
Best known for his Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon. 

JUVENAL Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, satirical anti-Semitic poet 
active in the first century C.E. He coined the well-known expression 
"bread and circuses" to describe how the emperors would please the 
populace. 

LAZARUS See Eleazar. 
MACCABEES Original messianic dynasty of Judea removed 
from power by the Romans in 63 B.C.E. See Mattathias. 



342 Caesar's Messiah 

MARY At least five different Marys are presented in the Gos- 
pels, where the name is used generically to refer to female rebels. 
The word is a Hebrew term meaning "their rebellion." Its Aramaic 
equivalent is Martha, "she was rebellious." 

MATTATH IAS Founder of the militaristic and messianic dynasty 
of the Maccabees, who in 165 B.C.E. led the revolt celebrated by 
Jews today in the festival of Hannukah. Mattathias/Matthias (Matthew) 
had five sons: Simon, Judas, John, Eleazar (Lazarus), and Jonathan. 
These names were dynastic and were passed on through later gener- 
ations until the dynasty was removed from power by the Roman 
conquest of Judea in 63 B.C.E. (The dynasty's burial site was dis- 
covered in 1995 at a site 30 kilometers north of Jerusalem). Once 
removed from power, the dynasty continued to revolt against the 
Roman occupation and the Herodian puppet kings. In the Gospels, 
the Romans blatantly satirize the Jews by using Maccabean names 
for Christian characters. 

NEREUS Legendary chamberlain of Flavia Domitilla. He 
appears in the sixth-century work Acts of Saints Nereus and Achilleus. 

ORIGEN Major Christian theologian and Biblical critic 
(185-264 C.E.). 

PAUL A historical figure who may have begun his career in 
the service of the Emperor Nero (as described by Robert Eisenman). 
He subsequently became an administrator of the Jesus cult. Several 
characters in Josephus are parodies of him. These include the evil 
character on the right-hand side of the Decius Mundus triptych, and 
Paulinus, who prevents the Jews from having access to the temple 
by closing the gates. Acts 21:28-30 contain a parallel event in which 
the temple gates are closed. 

PEDANIUS DI0SC0RIDES The chief physician and botanist 
accompanying Vespasian and Titus in Judea. His work is believed to 
have contributed to the underlying botanical metaphor that the 
Romans used to create their satire. He is best known as the origina- 
tor of modern herbalism and as a pioneer of anesthesia. 

PERSIUS Aulus Persius Flaccus (34-62 C.E.). Roman satiri- 
cal poet aligned with Stoic philosophy. 

PLINY THE ELDER Gaius Plinius Secondus was a friend and 
advisor to the Emperor Vespasian, whom he visited daily. He is known 



Appendix 343 

to have advised on the creation of the Roman satire and to have vis- 
ited the army in Judea. He is best known for his Natural History. 

PLINY THE YOUNGER Governor of Pontus/Bithynia 111 to 
113 C.E. His correspondence with the Emperor Trajan on how to 
treat Christians survives. The problem as he defined it was that the 
contagion of this "superstition" had gotten out of control and had 
already spread beyond Judea, not only to the cities but also to the 
villages and farms, although he still thought it possible to check its 
further spread. The Emperor Trajan, however, instructed him that 
Christians were not to be sought out. 

QUIRINIUS Governor of Syria. He attempted to conduct a cen- 
sus in 6 C.E. to facilitate tax gathering. This led directly to the revolt 
by the Zealot Judas the Galilean. In the Gospel of Luke, the depic- 
tion of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem to register for the cen- 
sus is a satirical counter to this revolt. The Gospel depicts Jews who 
cooperate in paying their taxes. 

C. I. SCOFIELD Christian writer (1843-1921) who produced 
an edition of the Bible that popularized premillennial teachings. 

SENECA Stoic philosopher and tutor to the Emperor Nero. 
Some of his attitudes are reflected in the Gospels. 

SIMON PETER A character from the Gospels whose name is 
originally "Simon," before he is renamed petros, meaning "a stone." 
At the end of John 21 he is told that he will be bound and taken off 
to die. The character parodies the rebel Simon, who was seized at the 
siege of Jerusalem and taken to Rome for execution. 

SUETONIUS Roman historian and secretary to the Emperor 
Hadrian. He is remembered chiefly as the author of The Lives of the 
Twelve Caesars, produced around 120 C.E. 

TACITUS Cornelius Tacitus (55-117 C.E.), a Roman historian 
known for his Histories, Annals of Imperial Rome, and a biography of 
his father-in-law Agricola. 

TERTULLIAN Christian theologian born about 160 C.E. The 
first theologian to write in Latin. 

TIBERIUS ALEXANDER A nonpracticing Jew, who was son of 
the richest man in the world, the customs collector of Alexandria. 
He was brother-in-law to Titus' mistress Bernice and one of the gen- 
erals supporting the Romans in the siege of Jerusalem. He put down 



344 Caesar's Messiah 

a riot in Alexandria, slaughtering 50,000 Jews. He can be identified 
through a logic puzzle as one of those who initiated the idea of cre- 
ating the Gospels. 

TITUS FLAVIUS SABINUS Became consul in 82 C.E., married 
Domitian's sister Domitilla, and was executed by Domitian. Suppos- 
edly the father or uncle of Clemens. 

TITUS Titus Flavius Vespasianus (39-81 C.E.), the elder son 
of Vespasian. After serving in Britain as a legate, he went as legate of 
the 15 th legion to Judea under his father's command. After Vespasian 
returned to Rome to be crowned emperor, Titus was left in com- 
mand of the campaign in Judea. He directed the building of the siege 
wall that surrounded Jerusalem and led to the fall of the city. On his 
return to Rome he shared in his father's administration, and became 
emperor on Vespasian's death in 79 C.E. Historians regard him as an 
efficient, frugal administrator like his father. 

THEOPHRATUS Greek philosopher and botanist. Died in 287 
C.E. Was chosen by Aristotle to succeed him in running the Lyceum. 
Several of his unique botanical words were used by the first-century 
C.E. Romans, probably by the botanist Pedanius Dioscorides, to cre- 
ate aspects of the Flavian satire. 

VESPASIAN Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus (9-79 C.E.). 
Born the son of a tax collector, he commanded a legion during the 
invasion of Britain and developed expertise in siege warfare. This was 
why he was asked by Nero to lead the force to put down the revolt 
in Judea. On Nero's death the army united behind Vespasian to sup- 
port him as emperor. He became emperor in December 69 C.E. and 
is presented by historians as a fair and hard-working administrator. 
From 71 C.E. until his death in 79 C.E. he governed with the assis- 
tance of his son Titus, who succeeded him as emperor. 

WILLIAM WHISTON English clergyman, mathematician and 
classical scholar (1667-1752). Succeeded Newton as Lucasian pro- 
fessor of mathematics at Cambridge. Translated the works of Jose- 
phus into English. Concluded that the various prophetic fulfillments 
in Josephus proved that Jesus was the Messiah. 

ZACH ARIAS the son of Baruch. A minor character in War of 
the Jews parodied in Matthew 23:35 as Zechari'ah, son of Barachi'ah, 
who dies in a similar fashion. 



Appendix 345 

ZACCHAI Rabbi Yohanan ben Zacchai, described in the Tal- 
mud as leaving Jerusalem at the time of the siege in a coffin, and 
standing up to acclaim Vespasian, who awarded him the town of 
Jamnia, or Yavneh, in order to establish Rabbinial Judaism. Suppos- 
edly he applied the "star prophecy," or world-ruler prophecy, to Ves- 
pasian exactly as Josephus also did. 

ZEALOTS Originally a Maccabean group, they organized 
against Herod the Great (73-74 B.C.E.), and again under Judas of 
Galilee c. 6 C.E. to resist a Roman census. After the destruction of 
the temple the Zealots retreated to Masada where, according to Jose- 
phus, many committed suicide to avoid capture. 



346 Caesar's Messiah 

A Timeline of Jesus' and Titus' Lives 

LIFE OF JESUS 

1 C.E. Purported birth of Jesus. 

30 C.E. Ministry begins. 

• At the Lake of Galilee Jesus begins his ministry by 
calling followers to become "fishers of men" (Matt. 
4:19 and parallels). 

• At Gadara, Jesus expels 2,000 demons from a man. 
The demons migrate into pigs that then jump off a 
cliff into the river (Mark 5:1-20). 

33 C.E. Jesus goes to Jerusalem (Luke 18:15 and parallels). 

• A naked young man escapes at the Garden of Geth- 
semane (Mark 14:51-52). 

• Jesus predicts that Jerusalem will be surrounded by 
a wall (Luke 19:43). 

• Three men are crucified at the Hill of the Skulls 
(Golgotha), one man is taken down from the cross 
by joseph(us) (ben) AriMathea, and later appears 
alive (Matt. 27:33, 27:57-58 and parallels). 

• At the end of the last Gospel, Jesus declares that 
John (the beloved disciple) will live, but that Simon 
(Peter) will be bound and taken where he does not 
want to go, to be killed (John 21). 

LIFE OF TITUS 

39 C.E. Titus Flavius Vespasianus (hereafter Titus) is born. 

66 C.E. His father, Vespasian, is appointed to put down the 

revolt in Judea, and takes Titus with him. 

67 C.E. Roman campaign begins in Galilee. 

• At the Lake of Galilee Titus begins his campaign 
with a battle in which Jews fall into the water and 
are fished out (War 3,10,5-8). 

68 C.E. Emperor Nero dies. 

• At Gadara, rebels are forced to rush like beasts into 
the river (War 4,7,1-6). 

69 C.E. In July, the army in Judea, Egypt, and Syria backs 

Vespasian for emperor. 



Appendix 347 

69 C.E. Vespasian arrives in Rome, quells civil war, and is 

made emperor, leaving Titus to complete the war in 
Judea. 

70 C.E. Titus goes to Jerusalem. 

• Titus, "naked" — without his armor — escapes attack 
at the Garden of Gethsemane (War 5,12). 

• Titus builds a siege wall around Jerusalem (War 
5,12). Titus pitches camp at Jerusalem exactly forty 
years from the start of Jesus' ministry 

• Three men are crucified at the Village of the Inquir- 
ing Mind (Thecoe/a). One man is taken down from 
the cross by Josephus ben Matthias and miracu- 
lously survives (Josephus Life, 26). 

• John is captured but allowed to live (War 6,9,4) but 
Simon is seized and is taken to Rome to die (War 
7,2,1). 

71 C.E. Titus and Vespasian have a joint triumph in Rome. 

Titus is given various honors and begins sharing con- 
trol of the administration. 

73 C.E. The massacre at Masada occurs exactly forty years 

from Jesus' resurrection. 

79 C.E. Josephus writes the authorized history War of the Jews, 

which is dedicated to Titus. 

71-79 C.E. Gospels are probably written. 

79 C.E. Following Vespasian's death, Titus becomes emperor. 

80 C.E. Titus establishes an imperial cult to worship Vespasian 

as a god. 

81 C.E. Titus dies in September, and an imperial cult is created 

to worship him as a god. Arch of Titus is constructed 
posthumously in Rome, acclaiming him as "the son of 
a god." 

81 C.E. His younger brother Domitian becomes the third Fla- 

vian emperor. 

94 C.E. Josephus publishes his Jewish Antiquities in twenty vol- 

umes, written in Greek and containing the "Testimo- 
nium Flavianum," which supposedly testifies inde- 
pendently to the historic existence of Jesus. 



Endnotes 



1. Michael Goulder, Type and History in Acts, William Clowes and Sons, London, 
1963, pp 2-4 

2. Josephus, War of the Jews III, vii (William Whiston) 

3. Josephus, War V, xii 

4. Josephus, War VII, I 

5. Daniel 7:13 

6. Josephus, War V, ix 

7. Josephus, War Preface II, v 

8. Josephus, Jewish Antiquities XVII, xxiii 

9. 4QD 17 6-9 

10. Matthew 15:30 

11. Josephus, War VI, vi 

12. 4Q547 

13. Damascus Covenant (CD) 19.5-13, 32-20.1 

14. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan Gen 49:10-12 

15. 1 Clem Prologue: 1 

16. Cyprian, ed. Princeps, 66, 8, 3 

17. Josephus, War III, viii 

18. Josephus, War III, viii 

19. Brian Jones, The Emperor Titus, St. Martin's Press, 1984, p 152 

20. Suetonius, Lives of the Caesars, Titus paragraph. 4 

21. Suetonius, Lives oj the Caesars, Titus paragraph. 3 

22. Tacitus, The Histories, Book IV 

23. Suetonius: De Vita Caesaram — Divus Vespasianus, XXIII 

24. Pliny, Pan 11.1 

25. Juvenal, Satire VI, 155 

26. Juvenal, Satire X, 365 

27. Juvenal, Satire XUI 

28. Juvenal, Satire VI. The haybox was used to keep food warm for the Sabbath, to 
avoid cooking. The reference to the tree is uncertain but possibly a reference to the 
menorah, the seven-branched candelabrum. 

29. The Catholic Encylopedia, "Clement" 

30. Jerome, De viris illustr, x 

3 1 . Tertullian, De Praesor. Haer, c. xxxii 

32. G.A.Wells, The Jesus Legend, Open Court Publishing, 1996, p 228 

33. G.A.Wells, The Jesus Legend, p 228 

34. The Catholic Encyclopedia, "Flavia Domittilla" 

35. Babylonian Talmud, Gitt. 56b-57a 



348 



Endnotes 349 



36. The Catholic Encyclopedia, "Flavia Domittilla" 

37. Josephus, Life, XII 

38. Josephus, Ant. XIV, x, ii 

39. Josephus, War III, x 

40. Juvenal, The Sixteen Satires, 4 

41. Josephus, War III, x 

42. Josephus, War III, x 

43. Josephus, War III, x 

44. Josephus, War III, x 

45. Josephus, War III, ix 

46. Josephus, War III, x 

47. Josephus, War VI, iii 

48. Josephus, War VI, iii 

49. Exodus 12:7 

50. Exodus 12:9 

51. Strong's Concordance 1223 

52. Strong's Concordance 1330 

53. Strong's Concordance 5590 

54. Matthew 27:25 

55. Josephus, War VI, viii 

56. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History V, xxvi 

57. Josephus, War VI, iii 

58. Mark 5:1-20 

59. Josephus, War IV, vii 

60. Josephus, War VII, viii 

61. The term can refer either to a Roman or non-Roman armed force. 

62. Matthew 8:29 

63. 4Q560 

64. Matthew 12:43-45.65; Num 32:13-17 

66. The following quote from Bruce Chilton is an example: 

"Some have sought to get around the force of this text by saying that the word gen- 
eration here really means race, and that Jesus was simply saying that the Jewish 
race would not die out until all these things took place. Is that true? I challenge 
you: Get out your concordance and look up every New Testament occurrence of the 
word generation (in Greek, genea) and see if it ever means 'race' in any other con- 
text. Here are all the references for the Gospels: Matthew 1:17; 11:16; 12:39, 41, 42, 
45; 16:4; 17:17; 23:36; 24:34; Mark 8:12, 38; 9:19; 13:30; Luke 1:48, 50; 7:31; 9:41; 
1 1:29, 30, 31, 32, 50, 51; 18:8; 17:25; 21:32. Not one of these references is speaking 
of the entire Jewish race over thousands of years; all use the word in its normal 
sense of the sum total of those living at the same time. It always refers to contem- 
poraries. In fact, those who say it means 'race' tend to acknowledge this fact, but 
explain that the word suddenly changes its meaning when Jesus uses it in Matthew 
24!" Bruce Chilton, What Happened in AD70? Kingdom Publications, 1997, p 89 

67. Josephus, Life 65, 363 

68. Josephus, War V, xiii 

69. Josephus, War VI, viii 

70. Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, George Allen & Unwin LTD, 1925, p 266 

71. Josephus, War VII, vi 

72. Josephus, War VII, vi 

73. Josephus, War V, x 

74. Josephus, War VI, ix 

75. Mark 5:5 

76. Josephus, War VII, v 



350 Caesar's Messiah 



77. Mark 5:15-20 

78. Josephus, War VI, ix 

79. Josephus, War VII, v 

80. The identification of John as the "Beloved Disciple" is the only straightforward 
reading of the text and was also the tradition maintained by Irenaeus, in the Mura- 
torian Fragment and in the Latin Anti-Marcionite Prologue. Nevertheless, certain 
scholars have disputed whether the Beloved Disciple really was "John," though they 
are unable to agree on who he might have been. The relevant point for our pur- 
poses is not when this chapter was inserted into the Gospels, or if it was composed 
by someone with the name of "John," but only that the author's intent was to use 
the identification of "John" as the Beloved Disciple as part of the system of 
prophecy between Jesus and Titus. 

81. Josephus, War VII, ii 

82. 1QH vl, 24-27 

83. Josephus, War VI, ii 

84. Strong's Concordance, 3136, 3137 

85. Mark 5:20 

86. John 21:24 

87. Luke 12:41-53 

88. Josephus, War V, iii 

89. John, 6:53 

90. Strong's Concordance 4991 

91 . Strong's Concordance 4990 

92. Josephus, War VI, iv 

93. Josephus, Ant. VIII, ii 

94. Josephus, War VII, vi 

95. Josephus, War VII, vi 

96. Josephus, War VII, vi 

97. John 12:10 

98. Josephus, War VI, ii 

99. David Noel Freedman, The Unity of the Hebrew Bible, 1 99 1 , p 57 

100. Mary Douglas, Leviticus as Literature, 1999, pp 236-37 

101. Robert Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 1981; Yairah Amit, Reading Biblical 
Narratives, 2001 

102. Theophratus, Enquiry Into Plants and Minor Works on Odors and Weather Signs, 
Loeb edition, 1916; and HP2.7.6-Passs.Id CPI.18.9 

103. Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, p 330 

104. Targum, pseudo-Jonathan on Gen. 49:10-12 

105. Matthew 26:39 

106. josephus, War VI, iii 

107. Hosea vi, ii, P.W. Schmiede, Encyclopedia Biblica, Black, 1901 

108. Strong's Concordance 4404 

109. Strongs Concordance 901 

110. Strong's Concordance 3029 

111. Of note is the fact that the word the author uses for this handkerchief, 
"soudarion," is one of the few words in the New Testament that is neither Hebrew 
nor Greek, being of Latin origin. 

112. John 20:1-5 

113. Strong's Concordance 4578 

114. I am not the first to posit that there was more than one "Mary Magdalene." 
Eusebius also noticed the contradictions between the various versions of the first 
visit to the empty tomb and attempted to "harmonize" the four versions by claim- 
ing that there must have been more than one "Mary Magdalene." 



Endnotes 35 1 



115. Palimpsest in Saint Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai: Evangelion da- 
Mepharreshe. 

EC Burkitt, ed. 2 vols. Cambridge, 1904 

Monastery at Koridethi in the Caucasus: "The Text of the Gospels and the Koridethi 
Text," Harvard Theological Review 16:1923, pp 267-86; and "Codex 1 of the Gospels 
and its Allies," Texts and Studies 7(3): 1902 

116. The Complete Gospels. Robert J. Miller editor, Sonoma, Polebridge Press, 1992 

117. Josephus, War VII, x 

118. Josephus, War III, ix & x 

1 19. Juvenal, Satire XIV, 96 

120. 4Q252 

121. 4Q285 

122. Josephus, Ant. VJJI, x 

123. Josephus, War VI, II 

124. Josephus, War VH, II. 

125. Josephus, War VII. VI 

126. Josephus, War VII, VI 

127. Josephus, Ant. VIII, ii — Note: some editions misprint "foot" instead of "Root" 

128. Josephus, War VI, v 

129. Matthew 24:3-44 

130. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus, Penquin, 1999, p 358 

131. Josephus, preface to War 

132. Josephus, War IV, iii 

133. Josephus, War IV, v 

134. Matthew 23:35 

135. William Whiston was an 18th-century mathematician, theologian and linguist. 
He was appointed assistant to Sir Isaac Newton in 1701 and published an edition of 
Euclid for student use at that time. In 1703 he succeeded Newton as Lucasian pro- 
fessor. He fell out with Newton over their different interpretations of the Bible. 
Whiston's cosmology conflicted with Newton's in that he believed that God directly 
intervened in the lives of men, an understanding that he obtained from his readings 
of Josephus, whose works he translated. His English translation of Josephus is still 
in print and is the translation used throughout this work. 

136. R. Brown, Christ's Second Coming, Will it be Pre-millennial? 1858, p 435 

137. Josephus, War V, iv 

138. Josephus, War V, iii 

139. Josephus, War VI, v 

140. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III, vii 

141. Josephus, War VU, x 

142. Josephus, War VU, iii 

143. Josephus, War VII, xii 

144. Acts 4:6, 25:13 

145. Acts 1:18 

146. Josephus, War VU, x 

147. Zecharias 11:121 

148. Matthew 27:9 

149. Malachi 3:1-2 

150. David S. Dockery, Biblical Interpretation Then and Now, 1992, p 33 

151. lQpHab, 4Q169etc. 

152. Josephus, Ant. XVII, iv 

153. Mary Douglas, Leviticus as Literature, 2000, pp 234-40 

154. Josephus, War VII, iii 

155. Livy, The History of Rome VIII, ix 



352 Caesar's Messiah 



156. Acts 25:27-32 

157. For a discussion see Albert A Bell, "Josephus the Satirist? A Clue to the Origi- 
nal Form of the Testimonium Flavianum," Jewish Quarterly Review, 67,1976, pp 
16-22 

158. Josephus, War V, iii 

159. Josephus, Ant. XVII, iii 

160. Josephus, War II, iv 

161. Josephus, War (Preface), I 

162. Josephus, War V, iv 

163. 2 Cor 7:6-15 

164. Brian Jones,The Emperor Titus, St. Martin's Press, 1984, p 152 

165. Josephus, War V, ii 

166. Josephus, War VII, x 

167. St. Augustine, The Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers IIIV1I 

168. Josephus, Ant. X, iv 

169. Josephus, War I, ii 

170. Brian Jones.The Emperor Titus, St. Martin's Press, 1984, p 45 

171. Suetonius, Vesp. 5 

172. Daniel 9:24 

173. Daniel 9:25 

174. Daniel 9:26 

175. Daniel 9:27 

176. Josephus, War VI, ii 

177. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III, v 

178. Matthew 24:15 
178. Daniel 12:11 

180. Josephus, War VI, ii 

181. Josephus, War X, xi 

1 82. Josephus, Ant. X, iii 

183. 1 Kings, 4:1-37,42-44 

184. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History I, iv 

185. Exodus 32:28; & II Cor. 3:16-18 

186. Acts 2:41 

187. Josephus, War VII, ix 

188. Josephus, War VII, ix 

189. Josephus, War V, vi 

190. Judges 13:1 

191. Daniel 9:2 

192. John 5:1 

193. Josephus, War V, vi 

194. Daniel 9:27 

195. Josephus, War II, viii; Ant. XVIII, i 

196. Josephus, War VII, viii 

197. Josephus, War VII, ix 

198. Josephus, Ant. II, xiv (Exodus 11-12) 

199. John 1:29 

200. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History, vii. The Predictions of Christ. 

201. Luke 2:1-5 

202. Luke 2:7, 2:16, 2:24 

203. Luke 3:10-14 

204. Luke 4:18 

205. Luke 12:13-2, 14:1-14 

206. Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-35 



Endnotes 



207. Luke 16:14 

208. See B. Qama 27 a or Gittim I, 6 

209. Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, p 183 

210. B. Qama IV 5 

211. Niddad 17a 

212. Lev. R 9, Yeb II, 5 

213. Joseph Klausner, Jesus of Nazareth, p 1 85 

214. 4Q2469 

215. Josephus, War V iv 

216. Josephus, Ant. XII, vii 

217. Sanh9:4 

218. Josephus, War II, xx 

219. Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History III, xxxii; I-VI 

220. Josephus, Ant. XX, v 

221. Damascus Document, XIV 

222. Community Rule, VIII 

223. Damascus Document, VI 

224. Community Rule, VIII 

225. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus, p 967 

226. Robert Eisenman, James the Brother of Jesus, p 181 

227. Josephus, War U, xvii 

228. Josephus, War VI, x 

229. Josephus, War U, xvii 

230. Josephus, War VILviii 

231. Josephus, War VII, viii 

232. Josephus, War I, i 

233. Matthew 13:55 

234. Fergus Millar, The Roman Near East, Harvard University Press, 1993, p 372 

235. Josephus, War VI, i 

236. Josephus, War VII, iv 

237. Josephus, War VI, vii 

238. Josephus, War VI, vii 

239. Josephus, War VI, vii 

240. Josephus, War VI, vi 

241. Josephus, War VI, iv 

242. Josephus, War VI, iii 

243. Josephus, War VI, vi 

244. Ben Sira 48: 10-11 

245. 2 Kings 1:8 & 1 Kings 19:13 

246. 2 Kings 2:4-15 

247. Malachi4:l 

248. Matthew 3:10 

249. Malachi 3:2 

250. Josephus, War VI, v 

251. John 4:6-21 

252. Josephus, War UJ, vii 

253. Josephus, Ant. XVII, iii 



Selected Bibliography 



Aland, Kurt, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, 
and Allen Wikgren, eds. The Greek New Testament. 2nd ed. 
United Bible Societies, 1968. 

Aland, Kurt, and Barbara Aland. The Text of the New Testament: An 
Introduction to the Critical Editions and to the Theory and Prac- 
tice of Modern Textual Criticism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing 
Company, 1995. 

Brandon, S.G.F Jesus and the Zealots. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1967. 

Eisenman, Robert. James the Brother of Jesus, Penguin Books, 1997. 

Eisenman, Robert, and Michael Wise. Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered. 
Penguin Books, 1992. 

Josephus, Flavius. The Works of Josephus. Hendricks Publishers, 
1987. 

Klausner, Joseph. Jesus of Nazareth: His Life, Times, and Teaching. 
Bradford and Dickens, 1925. 

Millar, Fergus. The Roman Near East. Harvard University Press, 
1993. 

The New Testament, Authorized King James Version. 

Tcherikover, Victor. Hellenistic Civilization and the Jews. Atheneum, 
1970. 

Wise, Michael, Martin Abegg, Jr., and Edward Cook. Dead Sea 
Scrolls: A New Translation. HarperSanFrancisco, 1996. 



354 



About the Author 



Joseph Atwill is a successful businessman and a long-time student 
of Christianity. He ultimately turned his attention full-time to the 
vexing question of Christian origins, and it was among the hundreds 
of books he studied that he made the striking discoveries set out in 
Caesar's Messiah. He currently lives in California with his wife and 
children, where he is at work on a second book. If you'd like to con- 
tact Joseph Atwill, visit his website at www.caesarsmessiah.com. 



359